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Losses widen for Diamond Offshore, wins North Sea work for Ocean GreatWhite

Diamond Offshore saw its losses widen in the first part of 2019.

The rig operator reported a pre-tax loss of £59.8m for Q1, widened from £51.3m in the final three months of 2018 as average day rates for its vessels continue to drop.

Revenues were £180.7m, down 26% from £228.7m in the same period the previous year.

Diamond said it has a backlog of orders worth £1.3billion.

In the UK, the firm said it has secured a new contract for the Ocean GreatWhite – the world’s largest semisubmersible rig – with a leading UK operator, due to begin in late July.

That will follow the 60,000 tonne rig’s current drilling campaign for Siccar Point Energy at its Blackrock and Lyon prospects in the West of Shetland.

The Ocean Patriot is currently carrying out work for Apache and the Ocean Valiant is on contract for Total, which will be followed by Shell from early December.

A contract is also booked for the Ocean Endeavour for Shell due to begin next month.

Average dayrates for Diamond’s fleet in the quarter were $309,000 (£239,113), down from $315,000 in Q4 last year and $351,000 in Q1 2018.

Chief executive Marc Edwards said: “The Ocean GreatWhite commenced the drilling of its first well during thequarter and we recently secured a new contract for the rig with a leading U.K. operator, which will directly follow the current Siccar Point Energy contract.

“We were also able to secure a new award for the Ocean Apex with BP in Australia, which will commence following the Woodside campaign.

“We had a solid start to the year with fleet-wide operational efficiency of 97% and zero recordable incidents for the first quarter

“We are pleased to announce that we secured over four years of additional work across two of our drillships, the Ocean BlackRhino and Ocean BlackHawk, with Woodside in Senegal.

“These new contracts are a testament to our differentiated strategy of focusing on innovation to drive efficiency in offshore drilling.”

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