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In the past year, there were many observations that the offshore rig market had “turned the corner”, and while Westwood highlighted a few areas of improvement, they were mostly isolated, and Westwood simply did not share that opinion. However, now that 2018 is over, it is time to look at where the market stands heading into the new year. Riglogix data show that 19 rigs were delivered in 2018, comprised of 15 jackups and four semisubmersibles (semis). As of December 31, there were still 112 rigs listed as under construction, including 75 jackups, nine semis, 21 drillships, and seven tender-assist units. Construction on the majority of these units is essentially completed and waiting on acceptance from the rig owners.

Rig attrition has taken centre stage within the past few years, and that continues to be the case in today’s market. During 2018, the number of rigs removed from the fleet hit an all-time high of 57. Since the downturn began in September 2014, there have been 212 units taken out of service through retirements, conversion to other modes, and total-loss accidents. In 2018, the split amongst rig types was jackups (37), semis (14), and drillships (6).

As for rig utilisation, jackups and drillships both enjoyed increases for the year, but the gains made in semi utilisation during the first half of the year were erased in the final six months as utilisation fell by some 14% from 54.7% in June to just over 40% in December. Figure 1 displays monthly utilisation for each rig type during 2018.

N.B. BVAA's dedicated 'Valves & Actuators in Oil & Gas' market overview and forecast, with new detail, is due shortly.

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