Downturn forces Ensco to shut down ultra deepwater rig

Houston: Ensco, the world’s second-largest offshore driller, announced on Thursday it would shut down one of its ultra-deepwater rigs as demand continues to suffer due to the slump in crude prices. And there may be worse to come.

The company, which is incorporated in London but has its operational headquarters in Houston, has already been making cuts in personnel costs and has shut down four of its shallow water jack up rigs.

Oil prices have been plunging due to a glut in supply so Ensco is aiming to sell three of its rigs and may cold stack another if prices do not improve.

The ultra deepwater rig shutdown announcement came a day after Ensco slashed its quarterly dividend by 80%, which will save it an estimated US$560m annually. But its share price continued to fall, and has dropped by more than half since June to plumb a six-year low.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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