Offshore rig profitability continues upward trend

Houston-based offshore drilling contractor Global Marine Inc. reports its Summary of Current Offshore Rig Economics (SCORE) for November increased to 35.9, up 3.1% from October.

SCORE compares the profitability of current mobile offshore drilling rig rates with the profitability of rates at the 1980-81 offshore drilling cycle peak, when speculative rig construction was common. Global Marine's SCORE then averaged 100%, and new contract day rates equaled the sum of daily cash operating costs plus $700/day per $1 million invested. SCORE reflects current rig day rates as a percentage of the estimated rate required to justify building new rigs on speculation.

November's SCORE is up 49.5% from the same month a year ago and is down 21.7% from the same month 5 years ago.

Global Marine Chairman, President and CEO Bob Rose said, "While recovery in the worldwide SCORE has been supported by improvements in all major areas over the past year, the SCORE in the North Sea remains well behind those of other areas. Recent increases in rig tendering activity and limited rig availability for upcoming North Sea projects, however, suggest that momentum is building for a springtime recovery in this important region."

In the North Sea, November's SCORE increased to 26.3, up 2.3% from October's rating. November's SCORE is 33.1% above the same month a year ago, and down 52.7% from November 1995.

In the Gulf of Mexico, November's SCORE increased to 40.7, up 2.3% from October. The SCORE is 62.5% above November 1999's rating, and 5.5% above its level 5 years ago.

Off West Africa, November's SCORE was 40, up 1.6% from October and up 31.1% from November 1999. The SCORE was up 1.5% from 5 years ago.

Off Southeast Asia, November's SCORE was 38.3, up 1.6% from October, up 38.6% from November 1999, but down 22.4% from November 5 years ago.

The November SCORE for jack ups was 43.7, up 0.5% from October's rating and up 73.4% from 1 year ago. It was down 4.8% from 5 years ago, however.

The November SCORE for semisubmersibles was 26.8, up 7.4% from October. The rating was up 18.8% for the year but down 42.5% for the 5-year period.

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