Press release

Interim Result Q1 2017: Idle rigs impact earnings, while uptime and performance remains high

Maersk Drilling reported a profit of USD 48m (USD 222m), generating a ROIC of 3.0% (11.2%). The result is impacted by a significant number of rigs currently idle. However, higher operational uptime, further cost savings and lower depreciation due to the impairments in Q4 2016 positively impacted the result.

Interim Result Q1 2017: Idle rigs impact earnings, while uptime and performance remains high

“Our first quarter result reflects that a significant number of our rigs are currently idle and without a contract. Existing and more lucrative contracts are coming to an end, while new contracts are being signed at significantly lower day rates. However, a stellar operational uptime of 99% and the fact that Maersk Drilling managed to reduce cost levels further in Q1 positively impacted the result,” says Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and continues: 

“Further, we are actively engaged in dialogues with a select few of the major international oil companies, exploring new business models with a larger degree of collaboration, e.g. better well planning and commercial alignment between us and the customers. A closer collaboration will enable us to create joint value and remove inefficiencies from the value chain.”

Maersk Drilling signed two new contracts in the first quarter of 2017. The Jack-Up Maersk Resolute received a contract that covers the drilling of two wells offshore the Netherlands with an expected duration of 95 days, commencing in June 2017. Furthermore, Mærsk Gallant was awarded a contract for the drilling of one well in the UK sector of the North Sea. The duration of the contract is approximately 140 days and will commence in Q3 2017. The combined value of the two contracts amounts to USD 16m.

“Despite an increase in tendering activity recently, our industry is still extremely challenged – with a massive oversupply of rigs. The day rates currently being offered are typically close to or below operating cost. Furthermore, the contracts are short in length, leading to idle periods between contracts and higher operating costs for mobilisation, start-up and ramp-down, which means we have to be extra vigilant about our cost level,” Jørn Madsen ends.

Maersk Drilling continues to identify and drive cost savings to optimise profitability and cash flows. Maersk Drilling reduced costs further by 5% compared to Q1 2016, excluding exchange rate effects and savings from stacked rigs.

At the end of Q1 2017, Maersk Drillings’ forward contract coverage was 57% for 2017, 46% for 2018 and 25% for 2019, making the backlog one of the strongest in the industry. The total revenue backlog by the end of Q1 amounted to USD 3.4bn (USD 4.7bn).

Facts about the Q1 performance:
• Profit of USD 48m (USD 222m)
• ROIC was 3.0% (11.2%)
• Operational uptime averaged 99% (97%)

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About Maersk Drilling
Maersk Drilling’s modern fleet counts 24 drilling rigs including drillships, deepwater semi-submersibles and high-end jack-up rigs. Maersk Drilling employs an international staff of 3,200 people and generated an underlying profit of USD 743m in 2016. For further information, see


Tine Østergaard Hansen
Tine Østergaard Hansen
Head of Corporate Communication & Sustainability

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