By Cinnamon Odell
The number of worldwide offshore drilling rigs is unchanged this week at 792. However, the number of rigs under contract fell by one to 572. The global utilization rate has fallen to 72.2 percent.
Within the US Gulf of Mexico, two floaters departed the region, reducing the rig count to 129 units. With 60 of those under contract, utilization has fallen to 46.5 percent. In South America, the number of mobile offshore drilling units increased by two, as did the number of rigs with contracts. With 100 out of 126 rigs under contract this week, regional utilization now stands at 79.4 percent.
Utilization in European waters and the Mediterranean Sea improved this week, as two additional rigs found contracts. With 95 out of 117 units under contract, the utilization rate is now 81.2 percent. The utilization rate in West Africa also improved this week. The fleet count is unchanged at 62, while the number of rigs under contract increased by one unit to 46. The resulting utilization rate is now 74.2 percent.
In the Middle East, the fleet count is unchanged this week at 119 units. However, the number of mobile offshore drilling units with contracts fell by two to 88. Regional utilization now stands at 73.9 percent. Utilization is also lower in Asia/Australia, as the fleet count fell one to 140, and the number of rigs under contract fell two to 103, resulting in a utilization rate of 73.6 percent.
Offshore Rig Count: Fewer rigs under contract this week