Utilization for the worldwide mobile offshore drilling fleet remains at a steady 77%. Overall utilization in the Australia/New Zealand market stands at 100% as every rig in the region is contracted.
Demand in the Australia/New Zealand region remains strong as operators look to fill their requirements for their 2013 drilling programs. At least five operators are out with market surveys for both long and short term work while another dozen operators have requirements connected with the lease terms of previous acreage awards. Recently, Australia awarded seven offshore blocks in the second round of the 2011 exploration acreage release. The secondary work programs for many of the blocks call for between one and three exploration wells to be drilled by year two or three of the license term.
Only two units are rolling off contract by the end of the first quarter and only two will be rolling off in the second quarter. Otherwise most of the remaining floaters are contracted through late 2014.OE