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Offshore Drillers Brace for More Pain Even With Bottom in Sight

  • Transocean, Seadrill see utilization rates stabilizing in 2017
  • As many as 60 more floating rigs need to be scrapped

Offshore oil-rig operators, grappling with the biggest industry downturn in a generation, say they finally have the bottom in sight. The problem is, they could be stuck there for a long time.

Transocean Ltd., which owns the biggest offshore-rig fleet in the world, believes utilization for floating units will reach bottom toward the middle of next year, Chief Financial Officer Mark Mey said at a conference organized by Pareto Securities ASA in Oslo. Seadrill Ltd., which owns the third-largest fleet, said utilization could stabilize as soon as the beginning of next year, and that rental rates had already bottomed out.