There seems to be little doubt that a recovery in the rig market will happen one day, and from the analyst reports to dinner party philosophizing, the focus seems held on the timing of this expected recovery, not the likelihood of it happening. But less attention is given to what that recovery might look like in the end.
It used to be 2017, now it’s 2018 or later. But despite when the situation has materially changed, what condition will the market be in on the day when all of us can say, “we’ve recovered”?
The first thing to note is that not everyone is going to recover.
The trail of destruction wrought by overbuilding in the offshore rig market combined with a persistent low oil price and oil companies’ cost cutting (efficiency) initiatives has dealt a terminal blow to many offshore rig owners. And it’s not done yet.