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Transocean Postpones Ultra-Deepwater Rig Delivery to 2020

Transocean Ltd.RIG has entered into a deal with Jurong Shipyard Ptd Ltd to postpone both the final payment and the delivery of two ultra-deepwater drillships. Jurong Shipyard is an affiliate of Sembcorp Marine, which is involved in building, repairing and conversion of ships. 

The dynamically positioned rigs that are based on the Jurong Espadon 3T design of Sembcorp Marine are anticipated to be delivered by the first and third quarters of 2020.

This is not the first time that Transocean has postponed delivery. On Mar 8, 2016, the global offshore drilling giant delayed the delivery and related payments for five new drilling rigs by nearly four years.

The upstream companies had an optimistic outlook on the industry in mid 2013, when oil prices had crossed the $100 per barrel mark. Hence, most of these firms had heavily invested in exploration and production activities around that time. This resulted in increased drilling activities and thus higher demand for the requisite equipments, which led to more bookings for drillers like Transocean.

However, crude oil price has plunged almost 60% from its peak levels of above $100 per barrel since Jun 2014. And despite the recent rebound, the commodity is currently trading around $40 per barrel. This decline in commodity prices is primarily attributable to a supply glut in the face of lackluster global demand.

Transocean, like most of companies in the offshore rig market, has been affected by the oil price collapse. This is because the top energy firms have curtailed drilling, which in turn has made the market unfavorable for sustained demand for drilling rigs.

Hence, preserving cash and maintaining financial flexibility are currently the prime concerns for the majority of the energy sector players. Transocean, like several of its peers, has deferred rig delivery to preserve cash and survive in this challenging environment.

Vernier, Switzerland-based Transocean currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it will perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Some better-ranked players in the energy sector are Suncor Energy Inc. SU, PetroChina Co. Ltd. PTR and Antero Resources Corporation AR. Each of these stocks sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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SUNCOR ENERGY (SU): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PETROCHINA ADR (PTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TRANSOCEAN LTD (RIG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ANTERO RESOURCE (AR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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