Rig Utilisation Reaches 85%, Highest Level Since 2015

In late July, the Clarksons Research index of overall offshore drilling rig utilisation reached 85% for the first time since 2015. Reviewing this development to our daily index and other data points across Offshore Intelligence Network, Steve Gordon, Managing Director of Clarksons Research commented:

·         Rig utilisation reached 85% in late July, against the backdrop of firming demand (the active offshore rig count stood at 508 units on the 25th July 2022, up by 8% since start-22) as well as reductions in marketable supply (down 8% since start-2020). For projections of demand, supply and utilisation through 2024, see Offshore Intelligence Network and Offshore Drilling Rig Monthly (please contact research.crs@clarksons.com for subscription details).

·         Utilisation gains have generated rig market improvements with our Clarksons Rig Rate Index already up by 32% y-o-y to 104 points by the end of June (though it was still 38% below start-2014).

·         Jack-up utilisation currently stands at 85%, up by 4pp so far this year. Global jack-up demand has risen by 5% since start-22 and currently stands at 373 units. Jack-up market activity has been supported by the robust energy price environment, firm levels of tendering within the Middle East (30 drilling contracts were agreed in 1H 22, up by >200% y-o-y) and improvements in the North Sea.  

·         Meanwhile, floater utilisation has picked up sharply in 2022 so far, rising to 83% by late July, up 10pp since the turn of the year. Demand gains have been supported by heightened market activity in the ‘Golden Triangle’ (US GoM, West Africa, Brazil), where the number of active units rose to 57 by start-July, up by 21% y-o-y.

·         While 2021-22 has seen material improvements, rig utilisation remains well below levels across 2008-2014. For context, overall offshore rig utilisation stood at 96% in January 2014. 

Offshore Intelligence Network provides data and analysis of utilisation, day rates and market supply / demand of the offshore fleet including rigs, OSVs, subsea and floating production. Contact research.crs@clarksons.com to arrange subscription access or a trial.

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