Offshore rig counts in the world's largest drilling markets made mixed moves this week, bringing the end to a year that was less than kind to the world's offshore rig owners.
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico rig count declined by two rigs since last week, and now stands at 149. Fleet size is unchanged at 192 rigs. Fleet utilization is 77.6 percent.
The European offshore rig count increased by one rig with the delivery of a new rig that has a firm work commitment. The European offshore drilling fleet now rosters 107 rigs, 75 of which are under contract. Worldwide offshore drilling rig utilization is 70.1 percent.
The worldwide offshore rig count recorded
no net change on a week-to-week basis, although utilization declined slightly due to the one-rig increase in the size of the world offshore rig fleet. This week, 484 of the world's 635 mobile offshore drilling units are under contract. Worldwide offshore drilling rig utilization is 76.2 percent.
The world's largest offshore drilling contractors reportedly have implemented their Year 2000 rollover plans, and none expect any major operational problems with their offshore drilling rigs due to the date change. Many offshore rig owners began addressing the issue as early as 1997, and had their compliance programs completed much earlier this year.