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The demand for ultra-deepwater rigs will continue to drive day rates higher as the industry shifts from exploration to development drilling in several major plays.
Nearly $7 billion in three Gulf of Mexico transactions signals growing demand for oil services in a major regional transformation.
Offshore floater utilization continues to tighten worldwide, leading to another round of newbuild announcements globally.
Activity offshore continues to strengthen as operators lock in contracts for newbuild rigs still in the shipyards.
Global drillship construction has reached the 53-unit mark while day rates for deepwater and ultradeepwater rigs continue to reach new highs above $600,000 per day.
With the tightness in rig availability, companies are likely to start stepping up new orders for drilling rigs in the near future.
The Gulf of Mexico shelf and the jackup rig markets are the latest to exhibit evidence of an improving 2012 offshore picture.