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Lay-up in response to lower price

Lay-up in response to lower price
Owners of drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico are laying up some units.

Owners of drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico are laying up some units.

Owners of drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico are laying up some units in response to falling demand and lower oil prices.

Falling US gas prices dented demand for shallow-water drilling units in the US Gulf this quarter, leaving more jack-up rig and drilling barge owners with uncontracted tonnage.

Owners would look to reduce operating costs by taking units off the market in the next two quarters. These would be maintained in order to be brought back into operation if necessary.

Hercules Offshore, one of the largest regional drilling companies, said it is laying up three jack-up rigs, two submersibles and two inland barges until demand improves.

Vice-president of finance Stephen Butz said the drilling units would be laid up for a short time. This is known in the industry as "warm stacking".

Hercules" move has increased the number of stacked rigs in the US to 15.

At the start of December, there were 80 jack-up rigs in the US Gulf of Mexico, including 15 stacked rigs and two in yards.


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