By Cinnamon Odell
The number of worldwide mobile offshore drilling units fell one this week to 790 as one jackup was retired from the fleet. The number of rigs under contract decreased by three units to 572, reducing the global utilization rate to 72.4 percent.
The US Gulf of Mexico fleet count grew by one to stand at 126 units. However, the number of rigs under contract in the region fell by one to 60. The resulting utilization rate is a low 47.6 percent as operators continue struggling to obtain drilling permits.
The South American rig count remains unchanged this week. With 97 out of 123 offshore rigs under contract, fleet utilization is 78.9 percent.
In Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, the number of mobile offshore drilling units increased by one to 116, while the number of rigs under contract remained steady at 93 units. Therefore, fleet utilization fell slightly to 80.2 percent. In West Africa, the fleet count grew by two rigs, as did the number of rigs under contract. With 46 out of 64 offshore rigs under contract, the utilization rate in the region increased to 71.9 percent.
The Middle East fleet count is unchanged again this week. With 90 out of 119 rigs under contract, utilization is 75.6 percent. In the Asia/Australia market, the total number of rigs fell by two, and the number of rigs under contract fell by one. Utilization rose to 76.1 percent, with 108 out of 142 units under contract.