Offshore Rig Review - November 9, 2004

The Offshore Rig Review provides an overview of the past week's upstream oil and gas industry news and an analysis of recent offshore rig movements and contract fixtures. The complete news articles, rig specifications and utilization reports can be found online at For the convenience of our reader's links to the news reports and rig specifications mentioned here are included as footnotes.

Industry Trends
Worldwide mobile offshore rig demand continued to strengthen with current utilization up to 81% from 79.5% last week.

Crude oil prices closed last week at $49.60. According to Joe Duarte's market report the key level to watch is the $48 area on the December and January crude futures.

Smedvig lost a two month contract for its Tender rig T-3 when ConocoPhillips bailed out over operational liability contract terms but landed an 8 month contract with Petronas Cargali for its self-erecting tender, Teknik Berkat.

New construction, Retirements and Sales
The new build Maersk Inspirer left China on its way to the North Sea. The rig is contracted to ConocoPhillips through May of 2006.

Pride sold the Pride Illinois and Pride Kentucky jackups to Blake Offshore. The units will be converted to MOPUs. The $11 million sale price did not include the drilling machinery.

Noble Drilling exercised its option to purchase the Maersk Valiant and renamed it Noble David Tinsely. When shipyard work is complete the rig will begin an 18-month contract offshore Qatar for RasGas.

Coastal Drilling has taken delivery of its new build inland barge, Coastal Rig 21. The barge is a 3,000hp SCR rig. The rig is on its first contract with Watson Oil & Gas in Louisiana.

Rig Movements
Transocean is moving the Transocean Rather from Angola to the North Sea for new BP work West of Shetlands while the Noble Homer Ferrington departed the US Gulf enroute to Nigeria to start an 18-month contract for ExxonMobil.

Transocean's Sedco 600 completed its contract with BP in Russia and is enroute to Singapore. The rig has been sold to JCE Group AB of Sweden. The rig will be converted to a non-drilling multipurpose vessel and retired from the mobile offshore rig registry. Another Transocean rig, the JT Angel, completed a mob from Offshore India to Singapore. Following minor modifications and surveys the rig will be marketed for work in SE Asia.

Diamond Offshore's Ocean Sovereign has left Singapore enroute for Bangladesh. The rig is committed to Cairn Energy for 3 wells.

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