TRANSOCEAN posted a 78% slump in second-quarter profits yesterday as rising rig usage struggled against increased costs.
The global offshore rig contractor, which has 134 mobile offshore units, said profits, after tax, fell to £94.5million, compared with £436million in the second quarter of 2010.
Revenue was down to £1.42billion against £1.5billion 12 months earlier.
The firm said revenue was up on the previous quarter, however, as a result of improved activity in the Gulf of Mexico, its new-build ultra-deepwater rig Deepwater Champion starting operations, reactivation of previous idle rigs and improved efficiencies on ultra-deepwater and deepwater vessels.
Usage of ultra-deepwater floaters was close to 2010 first-half levels, at 80% compared with 82%, and harsh-environment floater usage exceeded the 2010 first-half rate at 93%, against 91%.
Transocean said, however, that as a result of stacked deepwater and midwater floating rigs, overall utilisation remained flat at 55%.
Compliance with new regulations on well-control equipment, standards and capacity following the Macondo disaster, which destroyed its Deepwater Horizon rig and cost 11 lives, still hindered the business.
Transocean said its second-quarter results included £15.6million of legal and professional service fees associated with the incident.