Clarksons: World mobile offshore drilling rig utilization drops to 73%

Worldwide mobile offshore drilling rig utilization dropped to 73% from 87% during last year, the lowest utilization level in 30 years, Clarksons Research Services Ltd. of London reported in its Offshore Drilling Rig Monthly.

Jack up utilization declined to 70% from 86%. That compared with a high of 95% utilization during 2013.

The floater utilization declined to 77% from 91% during 2015, which compares with a high of 97% in 2013.

Average charter rates for high-specification jack ups fell 43% year-on-year to $99,000/day, with average ultradeepwater floater rates dropping by 42% year-on-year to $253,000/day, down from a peak of nearly $600,000/day in 2014.

Clarksons noted a significant increase in early termination and rate renegotiation.

The global rig fleet stands at 1,018 units, of which 771 are estimated to be available, but only 560 are actively drilling, Clarksons said in a Jan. 28 release.

The cold-stacked rig count stands at 143 units, up from 93 at the start of 2015. Clarkson Research said 46 units were sold for demolition last year, which was 53% higher than rig sales for demolition during 2014.

Orders for newbuild rigs was estimated at 180 units, down from a peak of 254 in May 2014. Of the pending orders, 112 are for jack ups and 59 are for floaters.

The contract value of total rigs on order was estimated at $66 billion. Plans call for 66 jack ups to be built in China and 20 floaters to be built in South Korea.

Hull construction has started on more than 45% of the orders, and some of these units are essentially complete. But Clarksons noted that many other pending orders remain subject to material delays. The Offshore Drilling Rig Monthly provides analysis on the drilling rig market.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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