Is Offshore Oil, Gas Drilling Making a Comeback?

Analysts point to data indicating improvement for offshore oil and gas drilling, particularly floating rigs, with room to grow.


The sun rises Sept. 30, 2019, over Transocean’s Deepwater Mykonos docked at Puerto de Las Palmas. The drillship is currently on contract with Petrobras offshore Brazil. (Source: Ana Iacob Photography/

[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the May 2022 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

Buried among talk of an energy transition, oil market volatility, U.S. shale supply chain concerns and inflation woes, a new theme appears to be emerging.

Analysts say offshore oil and gas drilling activity is reawakening.

“Quite frankly, offshore has been dead for a decade, [but] offshore is coming back,” said James West, senior managing director and partner at Evercore ISI. “We’ve seen deepwater day rates go from $150,000 at the bottom per day to almost $400,000 in recent months in the Gulf of Mexico.”

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers energy with a focus on renewables.