Top offshore drillers in Latin America: Valaris, Noble, and Borr Drilling lead the way 

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Westwood Global Energy Group reports that the top 10 offshore drilling contractors manage 29% of the rigs in Latin America. Valaris, Noble, and Borr Drilling each have seven rigs in the region, leading the international presence.

Noble’s fleet is primarily in Guyana, with four drillships working there at the end of last year. Five of the 15 drillships in Noble’s fleet are currently under contract offshore Guyana and Suriname, in aid of exploration and development works in the basin. A May 6 Fleet Status Report from Noble noted that four ships are in use by ExxonMobil in the Stabroek Block, and one by Petronas at Suriname’s Block 52. Additionally, Noble had one semisub off Colombia, one drillship off Trinidad and Tobago, and a second semisub preparing for a 2024 campaign off Suriname.

Borr Drilling’s seven jackups are all operating offshore Mexico. Valaris has a diverse presence with four drillships off Brazil, one jackup off Mexico, and two off Trinidad and Tobago.

Valaris secures multi-year contract with Petrobras for DS-4 drillship | OilNOW 

Local contractors dominate the market. In Brazil, Constellation Oil Services operates seven rigs and Foresea has six. Transocean, the largest of the top 10 companies, manages five rigs in Brazil. In Mexico, local contractor Perforadora Central and Borr Drilling each have seven units, while Perforadora Mexico operates five rigs.

Westwood notes, “There is a strong preference to work with local entities, making it difficult for international companies to build their presence.” 

Despite the challenges, the growing demand for offshore drilling in Latin America provides opportunities for international contractors to expand their operations in the region.

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