Offshore Drilling Rigs Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The market is segmented by Type (Jackups, Semisubmersibles, Drill Ships, and Other Types), Water Depth (Shallow Water, Deep, and Ultra-deepwater), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle-East and Africa)

Market Snapshot

Study Period:

2016 - 2026

Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

South America

Largest Market:



9.6 %

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Market Overview

The global offshore oil and gas CAPEX is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 9.6% during 2020-2025 and this, in turn, is expected to boost the offshore oil and gas activities. This in turn is expected to increase the demand for offshore drilling rigs. In 2018, the global average active offshore rig count reached a total of 225 rigs, representing an increase of around 3.21% over the previous year’s value. Factors such as rising deepwater oil and gas activity especially in Gulf of Mexico and North Sea, improved viability of deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects, and tightening supply-demand gap are expected to drive the market during the forecast period. 


However, development of offshore projects present a series of challenges, even for the most experienced players. While the industry has gone through a long learning curve and technology advancements, which have helped drive down the costs of deepwater production. Players still face a myriad of challenges resulting in lengthy development times of up to twelve years for deepwater projects. Therefore, the associated offshore project risks are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.

  • The deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil and gas projects are expected to witness a significant growth rate over the forecast period owing to the upcoming exploration and production projects in countries such as Brazil, Nigeria, and others.
  • Factors, such as technological improvements and increasing viability of offshore oil & gas projects, several new markets, such as Gabon, Senegal, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Egypt, and the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico are actively promoting the development of offshore reserves, especially the deepwater and ultra-deepwater reserves. This, in turn, is expected to create significant opportunities to the operating companies in the near future.
  • Middle-East and Africa is expected to be one of the potential markets with the majority of the demand coming from Nigeria, Angola, and Egypt.

Scope of the Report

The offshore drilling rigs market report include:

Drill Ships
Other Types
Water Depth
Shallow Water
Deep and Ultra-deepwater
North America
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Deepwater and Ultra-deepwater Segment to Witness a Significant Growth

  • The constant and ever increasing demand for fossil fuels and in particular, oil and gas has pushed exploration and production industry to drill in deep waters with depths more than 1000 feet.
  • Owing to the oil price volatility starting mid-2014, the oil and gas operators across the world undertook several cost-cutting and efficiency gains measures, which resulted in the cost-reduction of deepwater projects by approximately 30-40% from 2014-2017. Furthermore, with the improvement in oil prices, several deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects have become viable to operate and has resulted in an increased investments for exploration and production activities, especially in deepwater areas. Moreover, the breakeven for the deepwater exploration and production has fallen since 2014 and is expected to follow the same trend during the forecast period.
  • From 2014 to 2018, global deepwater expenditure has increased and regions, such as Brazil, the United States Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Norway, Angola, and Nigeria constitute for a large amount of this capital expenditure, respectively, with West Africa anticipated to have the greatest regional growth.
  • Moreover, the recent waves of cost reductions and critical technological breakthroughs have enabled many oil and gas exploration and production companies to expand their portfolio of sustainable deepwater and ultra-deepwater developments.

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Middle-East and Africa to Witness Significant Growth

  • The Angolan offshore is among the most prospective plays in Africa and continues to draw high levels of investment. Drilling results are broadly positive, with exploration yielding a number of high-impact discoveries in recent years. A heavy focus on the Kwanza Basin pre-salt has returned five major discoveries since 2011: Bicuar, Cameia, Lontra, Mavinga, and Orca, in blocks 20 and 21.
  • On the flipside, with Angola’s most prospective acreage in the deepwater, ultra-deepwater, and pre-salt areas, exploration can be characterized as high- risk, high-reward. The bulk of drilling is expected to continue to target deepwater and pre-salt prospects, spearheaded by industry giants, such as Chevron, BP, Eni, Exxon Mobil, Statoil, and Total, along with national oil company Sonangol.
  • Nigeria holds the top position among the ten countries, with the largest remaining crude oil and condensate deepwater reserves. The majority of reserves are along the country's Niger River Delta and offshore in the Bight of Benin, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Bight of Bonny. As of now, exploration activities are mostly focused in the deep and ultra-deep offshore, although some onshore exploration is also taking place.
  • The first Nigerian commercial deepwater discovery, the Bonga oil field, was awarded to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) in 1993. However, production did not start until 2005. After Bonga’s success, several other deepwater oil explorations followed in quick succession, including Agbami (Chevron), Erha (ExxonMobil), and Akpo, Egina, and Usan (Total) among others.
  • Therefore, factors such as upcoming offshore E&P activities especially from the West Africa region is expected to boost the number of offshore drilling in the region in the coming years.

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Competitive Landscape

The offshore drilling rigs market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major offshore rig manufacturers include Keppel Corporation Limited, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd, Sembcorp Marine Ltd. Some of the offshore drilling rig contractors include Transocean Ltd, and Seadrill Ltd.

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Table Of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of the Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast in USD billion, till 2025

    3. 4.3 Historic and Demand Forecast of Offshore CAPEX in USD billion, by Water Depth, 2017-2025

    4. 4.4 Historic and Demand Forecast of Offshore CAPEX in USD billion, by Regions, 2017-2025

    5. 4.5 Number of Offshore Project Approved 2007-2018

    6. 4.6 Number of Floater Rigs and Contracted Rig Years, 2007-2018

    7. 4.7 Number of Hi-spec Jackups and Contracted Rig Years, 2007-2018

    8. 4.8 Historical Average Day Rates of Floaters and Jackup Rigs, 2007-2018

    9. 4.9 Historical Average Utilization Rate of Offshore Drilling Rigs, 2007-2018

    10. 4.10 Major Offshore Upstream Projects

    11. 4.11 Recent Trends and Developments

    12. 4.12 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.12.1 Drivers

      2. 4.12.2 Restraints

    13. 4.13 Supply Chain Analysis

    14. 4.14 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.14.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.14.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.14.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.14.4 Threat of Substitutes Products and Services

      5. 4.14.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Jackups

      2. 5.1.2 Semisubmersibles

      3. 5.1.3 Drill Ships

      4. 5.1.4 Other Types

    2. 5.2 Water Depth

      1. 5.2.1 Shallow Water

      2. 5.2.2 Deep and Ultra-deepwater

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Market Share Analysis - Service Providers

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Offshore Rig Manufacturers

        1. Keppel Corporation Limited

        2. Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd

        3. Sembcorp Marine Ltd

        4. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd

        5. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd

        6. Friede & Goldman Ltd

        7. Damen Shipyards Group

        8. Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

      2. 6.4.2 Offshore Drilling Contractors

        1. Transocean Ltd

        2. Seadrill Ltd

        3. ENSCO PLC

        4. Noble Drilling PLC

        5. Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc

  7. *List Not Exhaustive

** Subject to Availability

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