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Odfjell Drilling reaches high-water mark for working rigs in Q3 2023

With a record number of rigs working concurrently in Q3 2023, Odfjell Drilling has an positive outlook of how it will fare in the future. In its quarterly report published 2 November, the company noted that a strong oil price during the quarter is cause for optimism in medium- and long-term future.

Odfjell Drilling saw $1856 million in revenue in Q3 2023, a 12.7% increase over its Q3 2022 revenue. Its current backlog sits at $2.1 billion. The company reported an average financial utilization of 98.4% across its fleet, its highest percentage since Q1 2022.

“Our wider industry continues to perform well with significant demand, while supply remains tight,” Odfjell Drilling CEO Kjetil Gjersdal said in the company’s Q3 2023 report. “We believe that demand will remain solid for the long term, allowing dayrates to continue to retain the positive momentum seen in recent months.”

For the first time in the company’s history, it had eight rigs working at the same time during a fiscal quarter. This included three semisubmersibles from the company’s owned fleet drilling in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) – Breidablikk, Johan Sverdrup Phase II and Alyhei Field, respectively, for Equinor and Aker BP. Elsewhere on the NCS, the Deepsea Stavanger semisubmersible drilled multiple exploration projects for Equinor.

Two Odfjell Drilling-managed semis worked offshore Namibia in Q3 – the Deepsea Mira drilled the Venus discovery appraisal well for TotalEnergies, while the Deepsea Bollsta drilled various exploration projects for Shell. The Odfjell-managed Deepsea Yantai semi drilled offshore Norway for Wellesley Petroleum and DNO while the Hercules semi completed an ExxonMobil project offshore Canada before mobilizing for Namibia. The rig will return to Canada for Equinor once it completes work with Galp Energia in Namibia. Under the new terms, the Hercules will drill one well that includes an optional well, with work expected to begin in Q2 2024.

The company is highly optimistic about its outlook both in the near term and the long term. It has firm backlog across all of its owned rigs, which will see average dayrates increasing continually in the coming months. The report noted strong demand in Namibia, Australia and Brazil.

Recent results from Namibia, where TotalEnergies estimated 1-2 billion bbls in the Venus discovery, suggest that the country may contain a “substantial hydrocarbon province.” With Deepsea Mira and Deepsea Bollsta working in the region, the company said it expects that the “unique capabilities” of high-spec semis make them “ideally suited” to work there, potentially increasing demand for its rigs.

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