So far this earnings season, we've heard from offshore drillers Ensco
Those three drillers make my Deepwater Dean's List. Their drilling margins lead peers by a wide margin. Routinely falling short on this measure is Pride International
Pride's transformation toward a purer deepwater focus is going swimmingly, thanks to the successful spinoff of Seahawk Drilling
The deepwater segment saw the Pride North America hit the shipyard for a planned maintenance and upgrade program in the middle of its multiyear stint for BP in Egypt. The Pride South Pacific likewise took a breather before beginning its cut-rate contract with Noble Energy
We already know that the midwater market is struggling, based on our review of Transocean's
The fourth quarter promises more of the same, at least in terms of planned mobilization and shipyard downtime. The company expects this to represent a trough quarter, with better times in store for 2010 and beyond.
This pattern has been going on for years now: heavy shipyard time, low utilization, brighter days ahead. I prefer drillers that have been performing at a high level for years on end, but maybe that's just a funny quirk of mine.
Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. Petrobras is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.