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Offshore Drilling Companies Report Boost in US Gulf Contracts

By Ryan Dezember Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- Offshore drilling companies Hercules Offshore Inc. (HERO) and Ensco PLC ADS (ESV) reported an uptick in contracts and day rates for rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in fleet status reports this week. Each of the contracts relates to jobs in water depths below 500 feet, and much of the new work has been commissioned by Chevron Corp. (CVX), according to the reports released late Wednesday. Hercules announced six-month extensions to three contracts with Chevron as well as rate increases that push the average price the San Ramon, Calif., oil giant will pay Hercules for each rig higher by as much as $6,000 per day. Hercules, of Houston, also reported shorter-term contracts for four other Gulf of Mexico rigs with other energy producers. Ensco said contracts for two of its shallow-water Gulf of Mexico rigs were extended into July by Chevron. Day rates for the Ensco 82 and Ensco 68 are set to increase on Jan. 11 to the mid $60,000s and mid $90,000s from the mid $50,000s and high $80,000s, respectively. "Probably the most surprising development in both reports is the fact that contractors have been able to modestly push pricing in the gulf of Mexico despite the uncertain permitting environment," analysts with Jefferies & Co. wrote in a research note. Shares of Hercules recently traded up 5.9%, at $3.03. Ensco's stock rose 1.9% to $51.98. -By Ryan Dezember, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9208; ryan.dezember@dowjones.com

Stock News for Ensco (ESV)
DateTimeHeadline
04/16/201413:47:04Ensco Files 8K - Regulation FD
01/10/201417:26:13Ensco Files 8K - Changes Executive Management
11/15/201309:01:37HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations -2-
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Sales
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/15/201308:12:57Fidelity Management & Research Co. 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep...
11/15/201308:12:57Fidelity Management & Research Co. 3Q 13F: -2-
11/15/201307:07:21Two Sigma Investments 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201307:07:21Two Sigma Investments 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep -2-
11/15/201307:04:51Bridgewater Associates LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations
04/08/201320:50:07Keppel Corp Wins $225 Million Rig-Building Contract From Ensco...
09/21/201215:48:08Ensco Executive Says Offshore Drill Rig Market Strong Through...
09/18/201219:13:14Seven Oil-Related Stocks See Unusual Late-Day Price Spikes
07/26/201218:58:06S&P: Ensco to Replace Goodrich on S&P 500 Index
06/28/201213:27:06Moody's Upgrades Diamond Offshore on Lower Debt Levels Amid Fleet...
05/10/201210:15:16Ditched N Sea Helicopter Bound For ConocoPhillips-leased Rig
02/23/201217:01:34ADR Report: Strong Earnings Results Help Lift Shares
10/06/201120:35:41Keppel Corp Secures US$245 Million Contract To Build Jackup Rig...
07/20/201118:18:32CORRECT: Noble 2Q Profit Down 75% After Work Interruptions

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