* Expects Q1 production services revenue to rise 25-30 pct from Q4
* Fourth-quarter adjusted loss $0.34 vs. est. $0.31
* Revenue falls 32 pct to $71.5 mln vs. est. $70.5 mln (Adds Q1 outlook)
Feb 17 (Reuters) - Pioneer Energy Services Corp said it expected revenue from its biggest unit, which provides oil field services, to rise by as much as 30 percent in the first quarter, with more oil companies drilling and completing wells.
However, the company, which also leases out rigs to oil and gas producers, posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as both rig rates and prices for related oilfield services have slumped since oil prices began to fall mid-2014.
With oil prices now recovering and bolstering demand for rigs and other oilfield services, Pioneer Energy said prices for oilfield services had modestly risen and were expected to continue to improve through the year.
“Our customers are announcing larger capital spending programs in 2017 and demand for all of our four core services is increasing,” Chief Executive Stacy Locke said in a statement on Friday.
Pioneer said it expected margins in its production services business to rise 17-20 percent in the first quarter from 14 percent in the fourth quarter.
Revenue at the unit is expected to rise by 25-30 percent from the fourth quarter.
Rig utilization is also expected to increase and average 70 to 73 percent in the first quarter, much higher than the 48 percent the company reported in the fourth quarter.
The dramatic rise in utilization numbers is partly because the company is selling and retiring some rigs.
The San Antonio, Texas-based company’s net loss narrowed to $36.1 million, or 53 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $48.3 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Pioneer posted a loss of 34 cents per share, bigger than analysts’ average estimate of 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Pioneer’s total revenue fell nearly 32 percent to $71.5 million, but was slightly ahead of analysts’ expectation of $70.5 million. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and Anil D‘Silva)