$50-a-barrel oil boosts offshore drillers’ hopes of vying with shale

The global oil downturn hit offshore drillers with the double whammy of a drop in customer demand for their services and a glut of new rigs rolling out of shipyards. More than three quarters of Transocean’s sales have been carved away since hitting a peak of $3.3 billion at the end of 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Houma-Thibodaux’s offshore-oil-based economy has lost roughly 14,000 jobs amid a three-year oil bust. The Gulf of Mexico rig count, a key barometer for the local economy, stood at 23 last week, the same as the previous week and four higher than a year ago, according to Houston-based oilfield services company Baker-Hughes. The count is down 59 percent from the 56 rigs working in August 2014, when the Gulf oil bust began

Worldwide, a little more than half of the oil industry’s 817 offshore rigs were working in the second quarter, down from the 92 percent utilization rate for global rigs in 2008, Jud Bailey, an analyst at Wells Fargo, wrote last month in a note to investors…


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