Global Marine Inc. on Monday said that its worldwide summary of current offshore rig economics (SCORE) was up 1.6% for April to 27.5% vs. the 27.1% recorded for March. The level of drilling rig activity is still down compared with years past, however. The April 2000 SCORE is down 6.3% from April 1999 and 27.8% from the same time 5 years ago. Still, the rise reflects continued improvement in all major markets, said Global Marine Chairman, Pres., and CEO Bob Rose.
Global Marine's SCORE system compares the profitability of current mobile offshore drilling rig rates to the profitability of rates at the 1980-81 peak of the offshore drilling cycle, when speculative new rig construction was common.
Strong US natural gas prices and low gas storage levels should keep upward pressure on the level of drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico, where 35% of the world's competitive offshore rigs are located, said Rose. Drilling activity in both the gulf and the North Sea rose in April vs. March, but only Gulf of Mexico activity is up vs. this time a year ago and 5 years ago.
Global Marine's April SCORE for the gulf climbed 3.9% to 31.5% from March's 30.3%. It is 27.5% above April 1999 and 2.7% above its level 5 years ago.
Meanwhile, the North Sea SCORE of 20% is up 2.4% over March 2000. The North Sea is down 26.9% vs. this time last year and down 55.7% vs. 5 years ago.
The West Africa and Southeast Asia SCOREs were up slightly at 35.1% and 28.4%, respectively. Both SCORES rose 0.8% from March to April. But these regions also were down from a year ago and 5 years ago, with West Africa declining 28.4% vs. April 1999 and 5.7% vs. April 1995. Southeast Asia came in 22.9% below its April 1999 level, and 28.8% below its level 5 years ago.
The use of jack up rigs is up 3.4% from March, and the 31% SCORE for jack ups is up 7% from last year and 20% from April 1995. But the SCORE for semisubmersible rigs inched up 0.4% from March to April but decreased 18.6% from last year and 35.4% from April 1995.