LONDON – Noble Corp. is seeing a slowdown in demand for offshore drilling rigs.
David W. Williams, the company’s chairman, president, and CEO, said: “After the very robust pace of offshore activity over the past four years, our industry may be entering a short and arguably useful pause in the cycle.
“As was the case in 2013, we entered this year with considerable backlog. That said, although we believe activity in thejackup sector is best defined as a steady state, the reality is that we find ourselves evaluating fewer floating rig contract opportunities today than we did a year ago.”
Williams added: “The first half of 2014 is likely to be characterized by lower rig utilization… [which] is likely to be more pronounced for the floating rigs with limited technical features.”
The company remains confident however, over the long-term outlook for offshore drilling. He said: “In the ultra-deepwater segment, which represents a growing portion of our revenue, we continue to observe a fundamentally sound business.
“In the face of generally steady crude oil prices, successful exploration programs with over 240 announceddeepwater discoveries since 2008, continued geographic expansion and a building backlog of field development projects, the segment is poised to provide exceptional future growth opportunities.”