According to data obtained by gCaptain, a dozen newly-built offshore drilling rigs will commence operations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) this year while five newbuilds have signed contracts outside of the GoM.
For the drilling contractors who own the 31 un-contracted rigs scheduled for delivery between now and the end of 2015, the pressure is certainly on.
For some drilling contractors who have played their cards right, this could be just a bump in the road to get past, however the future does not appear to get much brighter in the coming years, particularly in the GoM.
By mid-2014, the number of contracted rigs in the GoM will drop to 42 assuming no contracts are renewed for existing rigs between now and then. By 2016, the number drops precipitously to 36 and then 33 by mid-2016.
A situation is developing where a flood of newbuild rigs coming on the market in 2014 and 2015 will be competing for contracts with about 10 rigs scheduled to come off contract in the Gulf of Mexico over that same period. With more rigs competing for finite contracts, day rates will most certainly fall.
Worldwide, it’s a similar story as upwards of about 50 rigs will be finishing up their contracts between now and the end of 2014. Wells Fargo Securities estimates that about half of those rigs will gain contracts.
Besides facing the spectre of falling day rates, experienced personnel will also be needed to crew these rigs and provide the required shoreside support, labor which will be in extremely high demand (and thus expensive) over that period.
ExxonMobil and other major oil companies predict significant increases in world energy needs in the future, particularly from deep water, however for drilling contractors, time will tell if the increase in energy needs will support the additional rig capacity that will be flooding into the market soon.
The following are the rigs, in alphabetical order, which will be delivered in 2014, and the companies they will be contracted to:
- Atwood Advantage (Noble Energy)
- Deepwater Invictus (BHP)
- Maersk Valiant (ConocoPhillips/Marathon)
- Maersk Viking (ExxonMobil)
- Noble Sam Croft (Freeport-McMoRan)
- Noble Tom Madden (Freeport-McMoRan)
- Ocean Blackhawk (Anadarko)
- Ocean Blackhornet (Anadarko)
- Pacific Sharav (Chevron)
- Rowan Reliance (Cobalt)
- Rowan Resolute (Anadarko)
- West Neptune (LLOG)
The following are the rigs scheduled for delivery in 2014, but have not yet gained contracts (in order of delivery dates)
- West Saturn
- Pacific Meltem
- Maersk Deepwater Advanced 4
- Maersk Venturer
- Ocean BlackRhino
- ENSCO DS-8
- West Jupiter
- Dalian Developer
- COSL Prospector
- Sevan Developer
- West Carina
- Brava Star
- Ocean BlackLion
- Opus Tiger 1
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