Since the BP
First off, Seadrill's rig utilization figures are outstanding, at 95% for floating rigs and 97% for jackups. Utilization reflects a rig's uptime, and hence its earnings contribution relative to potential.
I recently estimated that fully half of Transocean's
Seadrill's rigs have the bells, and they have the whistles. This company, perhaps better known for its floating rigs, has the largest fleet of modern, premium jackups in the business. Seadrill keeps ordering new jackups as well, with 19 on hand or on order. All have been built since 2006.
Turning to floaters, the story is very similar. Last year, we noted a widening gap between demand for deepwater rigs and ultra-deepwater rigs (i.e. for greater than 7,500-foot water depth). Now, in the post-Macondo world that's ushered in stricter drilling regulations, there's even a divide emerging within the ultra-deepwater segment. In the most demanding markets, such as the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, only the most modern floaters -- so-called sixth- and seventh- generation rigs -- are likely to make the grade.
These market trends are extremely favorable for Seadrill, even moreso than for Ensco
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. 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 Fool owns shares of Ensco and Transocean. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.