March 1 (Reuters) - Most rig contractors have a big presence in the Gulf of Mexico, and all are eager to see more drilling permits issued since the U.S. regulator on Monday approved its first deepwater well since the BP Plc (BP.L) well blowout last April.
Transocean Ltd RIGN.VX, which lost its Deepwater Horizon rig in the disastrous April well blowout, has the most deepwater rigs there, with 13. Once Ensco Plc (ESV.N) completes its Pride International Inc PDE.N acquisition, it will match that overall number of rigs contracted in the U.S. Gulf, including five deepwater units.
Hercules Offshore Inc HERO.O now has the most rigs under contract in the region through its purchase of the assets of bankrupt Seahawk. [ID:nL3E7DB22W]
There are 333 offshore rigs now actively drilling globally, Baker Hughes Inc BHI.N says, including 25 in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). But 60 are under contract this year for the Gulf, with many on standby rates in anticipation of permits, based on the latest fleet status reports from drilling contractors. Rig Contractor # contracted in GoM of which shallow water Hercules/Seahawk HERO.O 17 17 Transocean (RIG.N) 13 0 Ensco/Pride (ESV.N) 13 8 Rowan RDC.N 8 8 Diamond Offshore (DO.N) 4 1 Noble Corp (NE.N) 4 0 Seadrill SDRL.OL 1 0 By Operator Chevron (CVX.N) 9 6 BP (BP.L) 6 0 Apache (APA.N) 6 6 McMoRan Exploration MMR.N 5 5 Shell (RDSa.L) 4 0 Eni (ENI.MI) 4 1 Anadarko (APC.N) 2 0 BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) 2 0 LLOG 2 1 Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) 2 2 Energy XXI EXXI.O 2 2 Walter Oil & Gas 2 2 There are 14 operators listed with one rig contracted for the GoM in 2011. LLOG and Walter Oil & Gas are privately owned operators. (Compiled by Braden Reddall, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)