Ensco (formerly Ensco International) is well-ensconced as a leading offshore drilling contractor. The company owns a fleet of almost 80 offshore rigs, including 49 jack-ups, 20 semisubmersibles (some capable of drilling in up to 8,500 feet of water), and seven drillships. Ensco has a dedicated deepwater drilling unit. The company generated most of its drilling revenues in 2011 in the US, Brazil, and Angola. Ensco also drills in Europe, elswhere in Africa and South America, and in the Asia/Pacific region (which includes Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand). In 2011 the company acquired fellow offshore driller Pride International for $7.3 billion.
The acquisition complemented Ensco's drilling portfolio with Pride International's strong presence in the key deepwater markets of Brazil and West Africa. The deal created the world's #2 offshore driller behind Transocean, valued at about $16 billion.
In recent years Ensco has been pursuing global growth by expanding its drilling fleet through both acquisition of rigs and the construction of additional rigs, with an emphasis on deepwater rigs. In 2008 the company took delivery of the first of its ENSCO 8500 Series ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig. By 2010 the company had three of its ultra-deep semisubmersibles drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and four more under construction.
Seeking to expand its fleet further, in 2010 the company made a bid to acquire Norway-based jack-up rig contractor Scorpion Offshore, but was bested by regional rival Seadrill. It subsequently bought a jack-up rig from Diamond Offshore for $186 million.
In a strategic reorganization, in 2009 Ensco moved its corporate domicile and global head office to the UK. The move signaled the company's shift from a US market focus to drilling markets around the world, and placed the company's head offices closer to its worldwide operations.
BP's Gulf of Mexico rig disaster in 2010 and the imposition of a six-month deepwater drilling moratorium added a level of uncertainty to the deepwater drilling industry in the Gulf, although the company's diversified portfolio allowed it to ride out such a downturn in one region. Although deepwater revenues improved strongly in 2010 as the result of three new rigs coming into service, overall revenues and income were down due to lower day rates and slack rig use as a result of the lingering recession.
The Pride International acquisition added a $1.1 billion in revenues to Ensco's bottom line in 2011, which otherwise would have only grown by 4%. Not counting the effects of the acquisition, operating income would have been have also gone down by 9% due to continuing lower day rates and higher operating costs.
Responding to the more robust oil and gas exploration market in the wake of higher oil prices, in 2012 the company ordered its sixth ultra-deepwater drillship, to be built by Samsung Heavy Industries at a cost of $645 million and delivered in 2014. – less