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Are Deepwater Drillers in Decline?

By Travis Hoium – Feb 7, 2014 at 1:25PM

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Comments from executives at Noble have sparked a sell-off in deepwater drillers, but the long-term thesis may not be as bad as it appears.

Ultra-deepwater drilling leaders Seadrill (SDRL) and Transocean (RIG -0.25%) have been on the decline this year after competitor Noble (NEBLQ) made less-than-enthusiastic predictions about the drilling market in early 2014. During earnings, management said that early 2014 would see weak demand, bringing up fears that the deepwater drilling market may eventually become oversupplied as new rigs come online. 

But if we take a longer view, all three of these companies sign contracts that extend for years and more than half of the world's new reserves are now coming from deepwater. Even Noble's long-term comments weren't as bearish as the stocks have been this year. 

Mike Klesta sat down with Fool contributor Travis Hoium to see what to make of drilling earnings so far this year and whether we should bail on ultra-deepwater drillers. 

Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Seadrill. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Seadrill. It also owns shares of Transocean. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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