Awilco Drilling sees rise in interest for offshore rigs from 2Q 2018

  • Exploration & Production

Awilco Drilling, a UK-based offshore driller focused on the North Sea, has forecast an increased interest for offshore drilling rigs in the UK, starting in the second quarter of 2018.

The company owns two semi-submersibles drilling rigs built in the 1980s, but upgraded a few years back, – the WilPhoenix and the WilHunter.

While the WilHunter has been cold stacked in Invergordon with no near-term employment prospects, the WilPhoenix has been under an attractive contract with Apache in the UK.

The contract at a dayrate of $387.500 per day expires in the late April of 2018. The rig has been sublet to Taqa, after which it will return to Apache.

In its quarterly presentation on Thursday Awilco said the dayrates in the UK market have bottomed out, and that the marketed fleet has been „considerably reduced“ since 2017 due to attrition and cold stacking.

The company expects the dayrates to remain low during 2017 and early 2018, but it also sees increased interest from operators of all sizes from Q2 2018. Awilco is also looking at the decommissioning market, saying that the demand in the sector “continues to firm up from spring 2018.”

Awilco’s current contract backlog is $134 million. Operational uptime in the first quarter was 93.3 % due to 4.5 days of unpaid downtime. The company’s first quarter 2017 revenue was $31,9 million, compared to no revenue in the same quarter of 2016.

Profit for the quarter was $15,8 million, compared to a net loss of $18,7 million a year ago.

Awilco will pay a dividend of $0.20 per share on or around June 23, 2017 •

The company said its dividend policy remains unchanged: “The Company intends to distribute all free cash flow above a robust cash buffer to support operational working capital requirements and capital expenditure, including SPS.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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