A total of 27 out of 72 ultradeepwater-capable (7,500 ft+) newbuild rigs due to be delivered between 2015 and 2020 are currently uncontracted, according to deepwater driller Ocean Rig.

In an industry outlook that made worrying reading in parts but emanated strong long-term optimism in others, the company also flagged up that there are only 17 mid- (up to 3,000 ft) and deepwater (up to 7,500 ft) newbuilds presently scheduled to arrive over the same six-year period (of which five are already contracted).

It also specifically name-called SETE Brazil, commenting that there are a staggering 29 “doubtful newbuilds” (two in 2015, eight in 2016, six in 2017 and 13 in 2018+) linked to that company alone.

The supply of uncontracted newbuilds will decrease from 2016 onwards, it added in its latest results presentation.

Ocean Rig UDW Inc. itself is in decent shape, according to its fourth-quarter 2014 figures, with the company reporting net income of US $87.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of $276.7 million for the quarter, compared to $163.8 million in fourth-quarter 2013.

George Economou, CEO, highlighted Ocean Rig’s fleet utilization of about 95% at a time when “the market remains challenging,” and with 93% and 65% of its fleet calendar days under contract in 2015 and 2016 respectively. He added that this puts the company in a position to not only to weather the current storm “but also to pursue distressed asset opportunities as they arise”.

Revenues from drilling contracts increased by $153.9 million to $499.4 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2014, compared to $345.5 million for the same period in 2013.

The company has 11 6th and 7th generation ultradeepwater drillships in its fleet, and two ultradeepwater harsh environment semisubs. Ocean Rig added that, for 2016, its uncontracted units “only need to earn a dayrate of $351,000, in order for us to earn an average fleet-wide dayrate of $500,000”.

Its average contract remaining fixed period stands at 2.5 years, rising to 3.9 years with options, with the current order revenue backlog standing at $5.2 billion. Ocean rig also has no uncontracted newbuild drillship deliveries scheduled until second-half 2016 at the earliest.