Demand for offshore rigs will slump this year as a result of the pandemic and the low oil prices that are forcing offshore operators to delay drilling activities, but the offshore rig industry is set for a comeback in 2022, IHS Markit said in an analysis on Thursday.
Due to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and the subsequent crash in oil demand, most operators that were expected to award contractor work offshore have pushed the timelines to next year at the earliest, Cinnamon Edralinis, Senior Offshore Rig Market Analyst at IHS Markit, said.
The drillship market should expect pent-up demand in 2022, with demand rising from this year's levels through 2021 and 2022. Global demand for drillships is forecast to average 73 units over 2022, up from 66 units for 2021 and 59 units through 2020, according to IHS Markit.
Most of the drillship demand will be concentrated in South America and West Africa, the consultancy said. In South America, Brazil will be a major hotspot for drillship demand in 2022, alongside Guyana with ExxonMobil's major discoveries, as well as Suriname, where Apache and Total have just made a new major oil discovery.
Drillship demand in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, however, is expected to see demand next year down from 17 to 14 units, as some operators wait a bit longer for market conditions to stabilize before awarding new work, IHS Markit said.
In the semi segment, recovery is not expected to occur in the short term, because the semi market had not started to recover from the previous crash when the pandemic hit.
In the jackup segment, demand is set to be relatively flat between 2020 and 2022, possibly with a slight dip, according to IHS Markit, which had expected strong recovery in jackup demand earlier this year, before the pandemic and the oil price crash upended all previous projections.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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