Offshore drilling is the process of extracting petroleum from rock formation, which lies beneath the seabed. Several types of offshore rigs are used in different depth and offshore environmental conditions, such as jack up rigs (up to 500 feet), semisubmersible rigs (up to 10,000 feet), and drillships (up to 12,000 feet). Advancement in technology to compete harsh environment and increasing demand for energy has driven the offshore drilling rigs market globally.

Imbalance in the demand and supply is observed over past three years. Moreover, aging and maturing onshore oilfields have opportunities for development of offshore drilling rigs over the past few decades and is anticipated to grow at a fast pace over the forecast period. Increasing environmental concerns and regulations are restraining the growth of offshore drilling rigs market.

Global Offshore Drilling Rigs Market Taxonomy

On the basis of type, the global offshore drilling rigs are segmented as:

  • Jackup Rigs
  • Fixed Platform rigs
  • Submersible
  • Ultradeepwater units
  • Tender Assist Drilling
  • Semisubmersible Rigs
  • Drillships
  • Others

On the basis of application depth, the global offshore drilling rigs are segmented as:

  • Shallow Water Depth
  • Deep Water
  • Ultra-Deep Water

Jackup rigs segment hold the largest share in the global offshore drilling rigs market, owing to its easy installation and low cost as compared to other rig types. Jackup rigs segment has opportunities for advancement and development.

Deep and Ultra-Deep waters are projected to be grow at a fast pace over the forecast period, owing to the major investment in this segment especially in regions such as Africa, North-America, and Europe. According to Seatrade Maritime News, offshore rig market will pick up from 2017 and will rebound to a new height by 2021.

Global Offshore Drilling Rigs Market Outlook

  • The North America & Latin America are projected to be the significant markets in the offshore drilling rigs market and they are anticipated to grow rapidly over the forecast period. Advancement in technology and development in offshore facilities is expected to further eliminate the regions dependency on foreign petroleum products. Additionally, it is estimated that, plenty of reserves in the oceans are present near North America. Increasing exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico have globally driven the offshore drilling rigs market.
  • Europe has witnessed a significant growth in offshore drilling rigs market followed by Africa. The burgeoning growth in North Sea, rising offshore exploration and production activities in Nigeria have further enhanced the offshore drilling rigs market. In November 2016, Exxon Mobil along with its partners announced the discovery of oil in the Owowo-2 and Owowo-3 fields off Nigeria’s shores. The discovery is estimated to be between 500 million to 1 billion barrels of crude oil. An estimated 85 trillion cubic feet of gas was discovered in the Rovuma basin in Mozambique, which have boosted offshore drilling rigs in Africa.
  • Asia Pacific is witnessed to have a fast growth in offshore drilling rigs market, owing to rising energy demand, high consumption rate, development of the emerging economies in offshore drilling activities, and major investments in deep and ultra-deep water have driven the offshore drilling rigs market in this region. According to Baker Hughes, the offshore rig count in Asia Pacific was 69 in February 2016, which is increased to 13 in February 2017. Additionally, in 2015, the Reliance industry announced an investment of US$6 billion in the KG D6 block (Krishna Godavari).

Key Developments:

For instance, in September 2018 Transocean acquired Ocean Rig UDW, an ultra-deep-ater drilling specialist for a value of US$ 2.9 Billion. This acquisition has added nine high-specification ultra-deepwater drillships, two harsh environment semi-submersibles, and two high-specification ultra-deepwater drillships to the Transocean’s portfolio.

In December 2018, Transocean singed contract with Chevron USA, Inc. to build to design, construction, and delivery of Ultra-Deepwater Drillship for 20,000 psi operations and is expected to commence operations in the Gulf of Mexico in the second half of 2021. This new drillship is having most advance technology including dual 20,000 psi blowout preventers, net hook-load capacity of three million pounds, 165-ton active heave compensating crane, and an enhanced dynamic positioning system.

For instance, in April 2019, Ensco merged with Rowan and created a new company name Ensco Rowan. Now Ensco Rowan has 82 rigs in its fleet including 28 floating rigs (semi-subs and drillships) and 54 jack-ups.

In July 2018, Shelf Drilling acquired Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Scepter jack-up rig for US$90 million. The jack-up rig is used in the Middle East for offshore drilling.

For instance, in February 2018, Borr Drilling acquired Paragon Offshore for $232.5 million. This acquisition has added 32 drilling rigs to the Borr’s portfolio.

Advancement in jackup rigs technology in the recent years includes:

In 2011, BASS (Bennett & Associates) incorporated two jackup rigs, BASS 350 and BASS 400. These jackup rigs are designed for moderate environment having independent leg, rack-and-pinion for required water depth of 350 ft. and 400 ft. These rig types help to support higher load required in drilling operations and can be modified according to specification of the operator.

JU3000N design, is the latest generation rig with high specifications and greater capabilities than most units. Noble Corp. had ordered four JU3000N in Singapore in 2012.

The major players operating the global offshore drilling rigs market are Transocean, Ensco, Seadrill, COSL, Diamond Offshore, Paragon Offshore, Ocean Rig, Shelf Drilling, Borr Drilling, and Nabors Industries Limited.

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