GOM Drilling Up 58.2% in 2000
The 20% boost to exploration and production budgets this year
should result in record results for offshore drilling, especially
the Gulf of Mexico, according to drilling contractor Global Marine
Inc.'s annual Summary of Current Offshore Rig Economics --- SCORE.
In November and December 2000, GOM drilling increased 3.5%, and
soared 58.2% from a year ago. Worldwide, drilling was up 49.7% from
Jack-up drilling also jumped in the past year, up 68.5% from a
year ago, while semisubmersible drilling was up 23.8%.
"Offshore drilling markets enjoyed significant recovery in both
utilization and dayrates during 2000," said Global Marine CEO Bob
Rose. "With E&P company budgets nearly 20% higher, the outlook
for 2001 is very bullish - particularly for jack-up rigs, which may
revisit 1997 highs."
Rose noted that the drilling industry's last recovery period
three years ago was cut short by an economic downturn in Asia, an
increase in production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries and Iraq's oil exports allowed by the United Nations.
"These factors are not there today," said Rose. "If OPEC has
learned discipline, as they seem to have done, there will be a
longer recovery this time."
SCORE, published monthly, compares the profitability of current
mobile offshore drilling rig rates to the profitability of rates
using 1980-81 as its baseline, the peak of the offshore drilling
cycle when speculative new rig construction was common. Twenty
years ago, when SCORE averaged 100%, new contract dayrates equaled
the sum of daily cash operating costs and nearly $700 per day per
million dollars invested.
With an active fleet of 33 mobile rigs worldwide, the
Houston-based company is considered one of the largest providers of
offshore drilling equipment services.
Carolyn Davis, Houston
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