Almost one-quarter of the 6th and 7th generation drillships currently contracted worldwide are working on charters signed in 2014 or earlier. Contracts signed more recently have mostly been short-term fixtures, thus creating a situation whereby the proportion of ultra-deepwater drillships working on legacy pre-2015 contracts is actually poised to rise by the end of 2019, unless the industry is able to add enough backlog in the coming months to offset the rigs that are due to roll off short-term charters.
The UDW drillship market is the segment of the rig market that was hit hardest by lower oil prices. However, recent data points suggest E&Ps will need to pay higher rates going forward to secure long-term capacity. – Oddmund Føre, Vice President, Oilfield Services Research, Rystad Energy