Global deepwater drilling activity rose during week 45 2020, with 107 floaters contracted, up one unit week-on-week
In the run up to a contentious US Presidential election, the price of Brent crude rose US$0.97 in one day – about 2% – to close at US$40.18 on 3 November. On a weekly basis, oil was down 1% from its 27 October close of US$40.70 per barrel.
Through its RigLogix platform, offshore energy analyst Westwood Global Energy reported the number of global offshore jack-up drilling rigs fell seven units to 317, in one of the biggest decreases of the year on a week-on-week basis. This was led by a drop in the number of contracted jack-ups in the Middle East, which fell from 114 to 111 units week-on-week.
North Sea jack-up and floater activity held steady week-on-week, at 20 and 18 units, respectively.
Dolphin Drilling reported it had secured its second award of the year in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), with a new combined contract for exploration and plug and abandonment (P&A) from Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO Norge.
The contract will see Dolphin Drilling support both ends of the well lifecycle, with work confirmed for one exploration well plus P&A activity on three wells on the NCS.
The initial programme of work will start in Q1 2021 using Borgland Dolphin for an estimated five months. The contract also includes an option for further work into 2022.
Dolphin Drilling chief executive Bjørnar Iversen said, “While the lower prices continue to put pressure on the oil and gas industry, we are really pleased to be able to continue to support customers with their well requirements no matter the stage of their lifecycle, bringing the efficiencies that come from the very capable rig Borgland Dolphin, and a team of subject matter experts both offshore and onshore.”
Dolphin Drilling secured its first contract in the NCS earlier this year from Wellesley Petroleum.
Meanwhile, tough market conditions have driven another offshore drilling contractor to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Pacific Drilling filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code and has entered into a restructuring support agreement with an ad hoc group of the largest holders of its outstanding bond debt. Pacific Drilling said the financial restructuring transaction would eliminate its approximately US$1.1Bn in principal amount of outstanding bond debt through the cancellation and exchange of debt for new equity in the reorganised company.
NYSE has commenced delisting and suspended trading in the company’s shares on 2 November.