Offshore driller Ensco returned to profit during the fourth quarter of 2016 versus a net loss in the prior-year quarter as its revenues declined due to lower rig utilization.
The driller on Monday reported net profit attributable to Ensco of $39 million for the fourth quarter 2016, compared to a loss of $2.5 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2015.
Revenues were $505 million in the fourth quarter 2016 compared to $828 million a year ago, primarily due to a decline in reported utilization to 51% from 63% in fourth quarter 2015. The average day rate for the fleet declined to $177,000 in fourth quarter 2016 from $216,000 a year ago.
Contract drilling expense declined to $289 million in fourth quarter 2016 from $415 million a year ago. Excluding a $17 million provision for doubtful accounts in the year-ago period, contract drilling expense declined 27% due to fewer rig operating days and disciplined expense management.
There was no loss on impairment in fourth quarter 2016 while the fourth quarter 2015 results included a loss on impairment of $2.744 billion.
Floater revenues were $303 million in fourth quarter 2016 compared to $490 million a year ago. According to the company, this year-to-year decline in revenues was mostly due to fewer rig operating days and a decline in the average day rate to $358,000 from $397,000 a year ago. Reported utilization was 44% compared to 57% a year ago.
Jack-up revenues were $187 million compared to $307 million a year ago, mostly due to fewer rig operating days and a decline in average day rates to $101,000 from $126,000 a year ago. Reported utilization was 54% compared to 66% in fourth quarter 2015.