Ensco to stack four rigs, axe 350 jobs

UK-based offshore driller Ensco has reportedly decided to stack three drillships and one semi-submersible rig thus affecting 350 jobs in Houston. 

According to a WARN Notice sent to the Texas Workforce Commission, Ensco started the workforce reduction process, that will last for 60 days, on May 11, 2016.

Houston Business Journal reported that the company is reducing the workforce due to the anticipated stacking of three of its drillships, Ensco DS-3, Ensco DS-4 and Ensco DS-5, as well as its 2008-built semi-sub rig, Ensco 8500. Ensco’s drillships DS-3 and DS-4 were built in 2010, and DS-5 was built in 2011.

Ensco’s spokesperson told Offshore Energy Today that the information was previously disclosed in April.

Namely, the company informed in its fleet status report on April 11, 2016, that the semi-sub Ensco 8500 was being prepared for cold stacking.

Later in April, Ensco’s President, Chief Executive Officer & Director, Carl Trowell, said in the company’s 1Q 2016 earnings conference call: “We’re relocating them [drillships] from the Gulf of Mexico where they have basically been at anchor and using the thrusters and burning fuel to a new cluster stack approach, which we’re going to do in Tenerife.”

The offshore driller recently lost a contract with Brazil’s state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras for the drillship DS-5. Ensco responded to the cancellation by initiating arbitration proceedings against Petrobras and South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries.

Earlier in May, Ensco received another two rig contract terminations for 2004-built semi-subs, Ensco 6003 and Ensco 6004, from Petrobras. Following the terminations, Ensco said that these two semi-sub rigs would be ‘permanently retired’.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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