Ensco Provides Rig Status Update

Published on June 15, 2010

Last Friday, we presented a profile and analysis of Ensco plc.  At that time, the latest fleet status report was dated May 14, 2010 and was nearly a month old.  The company provided an updated fleet status report (pdf) today and the details for the Gulf of Mexico fleet are mostly unchanged.

The two semisubmersible rigs currently in operation are still listed in the fleet status report with the same contract expiration.  Three of the jackup rigs have contract extensions and there were minor dayrate changes for Ensco 82 and Ensco 87.  An updated exhibit summarizing the Gulf of Mexico fleet is displayed below.

The company also provided the following statement regarding the Gulf of Mexico fleet:

ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater rigs currently contracted for work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are subject to the moratorium which applies to certain deepwater drilling and related activities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Jackup rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are not currently covered by the moratorium. Current or future Notice to Lessees (NTL) or other directives may impact our customers’ ability to obtain permits and commence or continue deep or shallow water operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. At present, we are unable to determine the extent, if any, that these factors will impact the contracts, operations and/or revenues of the Company’s rigs currently contracted for work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Company is in discussions with customers to identify mutually agreeable contingency plans in light of recent developments in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which could have a material adverse effect upon our results of operations.

This information is consistent with our observations in the earlier article.  At this point, Ensco remains exposed to the possibility that Ensco 8500 and 8501 contracts will be modified or terminated.  In addition, if the moratorium is not lifted by August, it is possible that the Ensco 8502 contract will be impacted as well.  In a speech tonight, President Obama did not back down regarding the six month moratorium but stated that the commission investigating the disaster should complete its work “as soon as possible”.

While the loss of the contracted dayrates for the three deepwater rigs would have a negative short term impact on Ensco, as we pointed out in the previous article, the company can eventually redeploy these rigs elsewhere in the world.  Although securing new contracts and mobilizing the rigs for use elsewhere in the world would take time and result in costs that may not necessarily be recovered, the rigs are well suited for work elsewhere.  Furthermore, due to Ensco’s geographic diversification and overall level of financial resources, a short term financial hit can be easily absorbed.

Disclosure:  No position in Ensco.

Ensco Provides Rig Status Update
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