Ensco to Stack More Rigs, Cut More Offshore Jobs

ensco ds-4
Ensco DS-4 drillship. Credit: ENSCO

International offshore drilling contractor Ensco is planning to cut about 350 of offshore jobs as the company plans to stack more rigs amid the downturn in the offshore oil and gas market.

The job cuts were revealed in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission reported by the Houston Business Journal. Ensco is based in London but its operations are managed out of its Houston, Texas office.

The rigs to be stacked include three drillships, the DS-3, DS-4 and DS-5, as well as the company’s 8500 semi-submersible, the report said.

The company’s most recent fleet status report, released April 11, showed the DS-3 as under contract with BP in the Gulf of Mexico until June 16. The DS-4 was listed as available, while the DS-5 is supposed to be under contract with Petrobras, but the drillship remains in the GoM as Petrobras has declared the contract void amid its massive bribery scandal. Meanwhile, the Ensco 8500 was listed as undergoing cold stacking preparations.

According to the Houston Business Journal report, Ensco is expected to move the DS-4 and DS-5 from the GoM to the Canary Islands for cold stacking, where they will be better positioned to pick up future work.

Including the four rigs mentioned here, the company will now have 15 rigs cold stacked, according to its website.