Global offshore drilling rig activity has bounced back to levels last recorded seven years ago.
In late July, the Clarksons Research index of overall offshore drilling rig utilisation reached 85% for the first time since 2015.
The active offshore rig count stood at 508 units on July 25, 2022, up by 8% since the start of the year, according to data from Clarksons’ research unit.
“Utilisation gains have generated rig market improvements, with our Clarksons rig rate index already up by 32% year-over-year to 104 points by the end of June – though it was still 38% below the start of 2014,” remarked Steve Gordon, managing director of Clarksons Research.
Jackup utilisation is currently at 85%, with global demand up 5% since January 2022. Floater utilisation has also increased significantly in 2022, reaching 83% by late July, owing to increased market activity in the US Gulf, West Africa, and Brazil, where the number of active units rose to 57 by early July.
Nevertheless, Gordon noted that while 2021 and 2022 have seen material improvements, rig utilisation remains well below levels across 2008-2014, with overall offshore rig utilisation hitting 96% in January 2014.