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The boom in offshore rig construction continues, despite evidence that, in the jackup market, supply will exceed demand, and owners may have to scramble a little more than they expected to keep all of their rigs working.
The current offshore rig construction cycle began in earnest in 2005. In the four years preceding, a total of 18 offshore rigs were ordered. In 2005, the number jumped to 48. Last year, 58 new mobile offshore drilling units were ordered, and year-to-date rig owners and investors have ordered 55 rigs, including jackups, semisubmersibles and drillships, Fig. 1.
The 166 mobile offshore rigs ordered since the beginning of 2005 will represent about a 29% increase in fleet size, once all rigs are delivered. Can the fleet absorb this excess capacity? Yes and no.
According to data compiled for ODS-Petrodata’s World Rig Forecast - Short Term Trends report, the floating rig market will be undersupplied...
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