As with the rest of the planet, COVID has had a massive impact on the ANZ region, up to now Australia and New Zealand have done very well in terms of low infection numbers, however we are watching events unfold in Melbourne with concern.
Onshore and Offshore rig activity has taken a severe blow, 2020 is pretty much a write off. Rig count had been slowly recovering from the low point early in 2017 when just 2 rigs were active off ANZ coasts, forecasts from end 2019 showed up to 8 MODUs working by Q3 2020. That has now been reduced to between 2 to 3 units.
Working in the oilfield requires, in addition to a strong sense of humour, much resilience and this is proving to be the case with many operators and their business partners at advanced stages of planning to resume operations from Q3 this year and into 2021. One of the jackups stacked over Q2 due to COVID has resumed operations off Victoria and a supermajor is forging ahead with plans to drill a key exploration well off the NW coast starting in October.
Platform drilling is taking place in New Zealand and there are signs of appetite for a MODU to return there over the second half of 2021.
There is a possibility that ANZ offshore rig count could get up to 7 active units by mid-2021 with the potential for double figures to be reached by mid-2022.
As with everything else, much will depend on all us playing our part in preventing the virus spreading.
“The View from Down Under” is brought to you by: Networked Energy Consulting Pty Ltd, based in Perth, WA, Australia
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