Rig market - April 2011

Worldwide, the mobile offshore drilling fleet has kept between 500 to 550 rigs under contract over the past two years. Recent overall utilization remains at a two-year low of 68% or 507 rigs working. However, tendering activity has been on the rise suggesting that overall utilization rates will trend back above 70% as the summer draws nearer.

Global utilization rates for semisubs are stable at approximately 78% while rates for drillships are slightly better at 80%. Global jackup utilization rates remain well below 70%. Instability in the Middle East/ North Africa region may put a little more pressure on demand for rigs in the short-run.

In West Africa, the split between jackups (18 rigs) and floaters (23 rigs) working in the region is nearly even. Utilization for semisubs is stronger than the overall average at nearly 83% during the most recent month. The drillship fleet in West Africa is small and as such utilization trends are impacted dramatically by a status change in just one rig. Thus, the 73% utilization in the most recent month for drillships in West Africa is not a very telling indicator consider only one less rig was working on average compared to the prior month.

Jackup utilization in West Africa followed trends similar to the rest of the world and was weak at 58% during the most recent month. OE

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