25 October 2013, Houston-based Hercules Offshore rebounded to profit in the third quarter as revenue was fuelled by resurgent rig and liftboat chartering activity, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.
The contractor lifted net profit to $25.3 million, reversing a year-earlier loss of $37.8 million when it was hit by impairment charges, as revenue surged 41% year on year to $225.3 million.
Chief executive John Rynd said the result reflected “positive momentum” in the US Gulf as well as healthy conditions in the international rig and liftboat markets, adding: “We expect those trends to carry forward through 2014.”
Hercules’ revenue in the US Gulf market increased 51% to $139 million, mainly due to higher dayrates and utilisation for its rig fleet of 40 jack-ups.
However, operating expenses were pushed up by salvage costs on the jack-up Hercules 265 that was was badly damaged in a blowout and fire in the region’s South Timbalier Block 220 earlier this year.
The company bolstered its backlog to $1 billion in the quarter on the back of a $36.6 million contract win with Cairn India for use of its newbuild jack-up Hercules Triumph, acquired through its takeover of Oslo-listed Discovery Offshore, as well five-year charter extensions on another two rigs.
“Over the coming months, backlog is expected to grow further as several new contracting opportunities exist in our domestic and international drilling operations,” Rynd said.
*Steve Marshall, Upstreamonline