In the U.S. and Canada,
additions to fleets increased
availability, while activity
decreased. The global
offshore mobile fleet posted
another modest gain, with 42
newbuilds entering service in
the last year.
The U.S. rig fleet experienced a year
of turnarounds in 2013. According to
the 60th annual NOV Rig Census, the
U.S. available fleet made a U-turn, when
it climbed this year after shrinking during
2012. Activity levels also went in the
opposite direction; this time, however,
falling back to the level seen two years
ago. When rig counts were examined for
the census in the early summer this year,
commodity prices had not risen enough
to maintain the drilling momentum experienced
in the U.S. during 2012. The gap
between available and active rigs widened
this year, pushing down rig utilization for
2013 and showing a weakening market.
The Canadian drilling environment
told a similar tale, with rig availability
strengthening, while rig activity
weakened. A notable number of newly manufactured
rigs helped boost Canada’s
available count in 2013. However, activity
during this time period was significantly
lower than last year. Persistently low natural
gas prices may have influenced Canadian
drilling to an even greater extent.
The global offshore mobile fleet was one
bright spot, showing impressive gains,
again, in 2013. Even more brand new offshore
units entered the worldwide fleet
over the past year, and these rigs are being
put to work robustly. Utilization for the
global offshore mobile fleet continues to
Key statistics from the 2013 census include the following:
- The U.S. fleet had an overall increase
of 49 rigs, causing the total available
count to rise about 2%, to 3,055. This
net increase is the result of 256 rig additions
and 207 rig deletions, Fig. 1.
- The number of U.S. rigs retiring, and
the number of newly manufactured
rigs, both fell in 2013, with rigs removed
from service numbering 182
and brand new units totaling 147.
- U.S. rigs meeting the census definition
of “active” fell to 2,055, down
- Utilization of the U.S. fleet (combined
land and offshore) dropped to 67%
from 75% a year ago, Fig. 2.
- The total number of U.S. rig owners
dropped to 313, down from 317 in
Drilling contractors own 86% of all
U.S. drilling rigs, a 1% increase this
year, with operators owning the remaining
- The Canadian available rig fleet rose
to 777 units, up 4% from last year.
- Canadian rig activity declined 12%,
with active rigs numbering 289.
- Canadian utilization is down to 37%,
compared with 44% in 2012.
- The global offshore mobile fleet’s
available count came in at 850, after
growing 3% in 2013.
- Global, offshore mobile activity was
up 11%, with active rigs at 697 units.
- Utilization of the global offshore
mobile fleet is now up to 82%, after
reaching 76% last year.
- Most international regions showed
declines in utilization this year, with
the overall average being 85%.
To learn more about the 2013 NOV Rig Census please download the article here .