Demand for floating rigs soars in February

Feb. 16, 2022
Vessels with MPD systems increasingly sought.

Offshore staff

NEW YORK CITY – Demand for floating rigs is soaring in the new year, with floaters making up 86% of the awards in February thus far, according to Evercore ISI’s latest Offshore Rig Market Snapshot.  

While no contract awarded was for more than four months, the firm commented that “day rates are clearly trending higher with Transocean signing a new contract for the Deepwater Asgard at a substantially higher rate.”

The report noted that the seventh-generation drillship was awarded a two-well contract from an undisclosed operator in the US Gulf of Mexico at $395,000/day, up from its current $295,000/ day charter with Hess. Evercore said that the rate “likely includes managed pressure drilling services,” with Transocean previously disclosing that the $295,000/day average on the Deepwater Asgard’s one-well contract with Hess received an incremental $40,000/day for MPD services.

Evercore notes that while MPD is generally required for HP/HT reservoirs such as Petrobras’ presalt regions and the Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary areas, it is also used to enhance drilling performance.

About 30 floaters and three jackups are fully equipped with MPD currently, with NOV recently upgrading the Noble Gerry de Souza with MPD and a second BOP for its one-well plus two option well contract offshore Suriname for APA.