The offshore rig count pattern of recent weeks continues. According to Offshore Data
Services' weekly mobile offshore rig count, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico rig count increased and the European offshore rig count declined.
A three-rig increase in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico rig count since last week boosted that number to 142. Fleet size remains unchanged at 190 rigs. Fleet utilization is 74.7 percent. The continuing increases in rig demand in the region have resulted in rising rig rates, primarily for units that work in the Gulf's shallower waters.
A two-rig decline in the European offshore rig count continues the downward trend in the region's rig demand that is expected to continue into next year. This week, 75 of 106 mobile offshore drilling units in European waters are under contract. European offshore drilling fleet utilization is 70.8 percent this week.
Changes in the U.S. Gulf, European and other area's offshore rig counts resulted
in a net one-rig decline in worldwide offshore rig utilization
. This week, 471 of the world's 631 mobile offshore drilling rigs are under contract. Worldwide offshore rig utilization is 74.6 percent.