International drilling contractor Transocean Sedco Forex reported that average utilization of the company's 61 owned or chartered active mobile rigs continues to improve, reaching 81 percent for the three months ended Sept. 30.
This compared to 75 percent utilization from the last quarter. Transocean Sedco Forex's fleet of 42 deepwater semis and drill-ships saw utilization improve to 84 percent, up from 75 percent in both the previous three months and the third quarter of 1999.
Fleet utilization improvement was most evident in the UK sector of the North Sea, where the measure rose to 79 percent compared to 65 percent during the second quarter of 2000.
Utilization was higher in the Gulf of Mexico where the Discoverer Enterprise's operational performance improved significantly, and in the Middle East, where the semi Actinia was reactivated.
The drilling contractor said its average day rate declined to $67,200 during the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared to $79,700 in the prior quarter. The decrease was due largely to contracts accepted at more competitive rates for rigs reentering the active fleet and rigs previously contracted at day rates negotiated prior to the onset of weaker market conditions declining to the lower, current market level.
Transocean Sedco Forex said its customers have initiated more active offshore drilling campaigns during the second half of 2000 due primarily to the continued strengthening of industry fundamentals and a growing conviction that average commodity prices should be sustained at levels that produce better project economics.
These improved prospects are evidenced by recent contract awards and extensions on a number of rigs including the Transocean Leader, Sovereign Explorer, Transocean John Shaw, Sedco 601, Transocean Cornet and Transocean Mercury located in the North Sea, Asia and the Middle East regions.
These recent contract awards and extensions represent about $112 million in revenues over the duration of the contracts and improve the company's committed fleet time during 2001 to approximately 41 percent.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)