By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 21 -- Profitability of mobile offshore rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico improved in April, ending a 10-month decline, said officials of GlobalSantaFe Corp., Houston, one of the most active offshore drilling contractors.
"The Gulf of Mexico SCORE [Summary of Current Offshore Rig Economics] hit its inflection point in April, reversing a 10-month downturn as day rates responded to improving utilization for certain jack up rig classes," said C. Stedman Garber Jr., president and CEO of GlobalSantaFe.
The company's monthly SCORE report compares the profitability of current day rates for mobile offshore drilling rigs to those at the 1980-81 peak of the offshore drilling cycle when new contract day rates equaled daily cash operating costs plus $700/day for each $1 million invested in a rig.
The SCORE rating for US gulf rigs increased by 1.6% to 28.4 in April, down 47.3% from year-ago levels and 50.1% over 5 years. Although the biggest single market for offshore drilling rigs, the gulf has the lowest SCORE rating at present.
The SCORE rating for North Sea rigs jumped by 3.2% to 53.1 in April, up 19.6% from a year ago, but down 21.9% over 5 years.
The SCORE rating for mobile offshore rigs in Southeast Asia was down 5.7% to 55 in April. That equates to a 14.3% increase from a year ago but an 8.3% loss over 5 years.
Among those units working off West Africa, the SCORE rating was 52.5, down 4.8% from March, 2.3% from last year, and 21.4% over 5 years. Worldwide, the SCORE for all mobile offshore drilling rigs dipped by 0.5% to 43.6 in April, down 13.4% from a year ago and 30.7% in 5 years.
"While the offshore rig markets in Southeast Asia and West Africa remain moderately strong, there has been some mild erosion in jack up day rates," said Garber. "We expect the day rate declines in West Africa to abate as the gulf rig market continues to tighten, decreasing the incentive for gulf-based rigs to compete for work there."
The SCORE for jack up rigs as a whole dropped by 2.4% to 45.1 in April. That's down 28% from last year's levels and 33.5% from 5 years ago.
However, the SCORE for semisubmersible rigs increased by 1.9% to 42 in April, up 15.5% from last year but down 28.3% over 5 years.