U.S. Gulf Rig Count Hits 20-Month High
The Gulf of Mexico
rig count continues to rebound, and this week reached its highest level since July 1998, according to Offshore Data Services' weekly mobile offshore rig count. The Gulf of Mexico rig count is expected to continue to rise as the year progresses.
On March 24, 155 of the 198 mobile offshore drilling rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico were
under contract. The week's tally represents a four-rig increase over the previous week's count, and a nine-rig increase over the month-ago figure.
The number of rigs under contract offshore Europe is unchanged, although Europea
n offshore rig utilization declined slightly due to the addition of a non-working unit to the area's fleet. Today, with 84 of the 105 mobile offshore rigs in European waters under contract, European offshore rig utilization stands at 80.0 percent.
The four-rig net increase in the U.S. Gulf offshore rig count combined with a net three-rig increase in other areas to cause a strong seven-rig increase in the worldwide offshore rig count. The worldwide offshore rig count now stands at its highest level since February 1999. Today, 499 of the world's 638 mobile offshore drilling units are under contract and worldwide offshore rig utilization is 78.2 percent.