Whenever we stop to check in on the results of the offshore drillers, it's important to consider the Long view -- that is, the perspective of Bob Long, CEO of Transocean
Long kicked off Transocean's quarterly conference call with a note of optimism on the deepwater market. Yes, the company's seen bidding activity sputter since the revenue backlog peaked back in the third quarter of 2008, but the dayrates on this year's three fixtures, falling in the mid-$500,000 to low-$600,000 range, are still historically strong. It's exactly those sorts of long-term contracted rig rates that provide Transocean a fat $17.4 billion free cash-flow backlog, which now exceeds total debt by $4 billion.
Transocean has five new rigs going to work this year for supermajors including Chevron
Transocean is riding a comfortable wave compared to largely mid- and shallow-water oriented drillers such as Atwood Oceanics
At the end of the day, the Long view largely conforms with my own: Transocean, like the deepwater-levered Pride International