Rig market - March 2011

March 2, 2011

Utilization trends for the worldwide mobile offshore drilling fleet are slightly depressed of late. Overall utilization dipped to an average of 69% last month. Global utilization rates for semis are 78%, below the average for the prior six month period of 82%. Global jackup utilization rates remain weakest at 63%.

The bifurcation of demand between commodity rigs seeing less demand and premium jackup rigs having greater demand remains a constant. The book for new ultra-deepwater and high spec jackup rigs continues to grow. Both Diamond Offshore and Noble Drilling have placed orders for two drillships a piece and Transocean, Maersk Drilling and Ensco have collectively ordered six premium jackups. The recent orders reaffirms the sentiments that the rig market still has an appetite for units built to suit specific climates and conditions while meeting tighter safety standards.

Eighteen rigs are currently working in Mediterranean waters. Given the small numbers, utilization trends can be quite volatile. That said, the number of jackups working in the region has been relatively steady over the past year, averaging ten. While demand has been steady, the supply of jackups into the region has grown over the past year.

The mix of floaters is heavily weighted towards semis at 88% of the total working. Semis utilization also averaged 88% for the latest month, much better than jackup utilization rates where recently only half have been working at any given time. OE



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