Is a Jack-Up Recovery Coming?



Ensco’s backlog

As of March 31, Ensco (ESV) had a total contracted backlog of $2.7 billion—compared to $3.8 billion as of December 31, 2017. The decline in the company’s backlog was due to realized revenues during the first quarter, which were partially offset by contract extensions and new contract awards.

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Ensco secured several contracts in the first quarter and in April. Below are the details about Ensco’s new jack-up contracts:

  • Ensco 72 secured a seven-well contract.
  • Ensco 101 secured a three-well extension.
  • Ensco 121 secured one well contract.
  • Ensco 68 executed a short-term contract.
  • ENSCO 140, 141, and 108 secured three-year contracts in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Aramco in April. These contracts will commence drilling operations in the second, third, and fourth quarters, respectively.


From the Ensco’s latest fleet status report, we can infer that a recovery in the Jack-up segment is on its way. However, the recovery is still very slow. The Floater segment’s recovery isn’t very active. The Jack-up segment’s recovery is concentrated mainly in the Middle East and the North Sea.


Below are the backlog details for other offshore drilling (XLE) companies:

  • As of April, Transocean (RIG) has a backlog of $12.5 billion—lower than $12.8 billion recorded in February and up from $9.4 billion recorded in October 2017.
  • Diamond Offshore’s (DO) backlog fell to $2.4 billion as of January—compared to $3.5 billion on January 1, 2017.
  • Noble’s (NE) sustained its contract backlog at $3.0 billion in January.

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