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Oil rig industry worldwide - statistics & facts

The oil rigs industry is part of the oilfield equipment and service sector. Oil rigs or oil platforms refer to the machinery used to identify reservoirs and extract crude oil and natural gas from the earth’s surface or seabed. Modern extraction began in the late 19th century with the invention of internal combustion engines and the first submerged oil wells were developed shortly thereafter. While rigs used to be stationary in the past, today, mobile rigs have become more and more common, with drilling techniques varying from conventional vertical to slanted and directional. The global oil rig fleet is largely made up of jackups and floaters.

Oil rig deployment across regions

In 2020, the average number of active oil rigs was 1,352. This was a notable decrease compared to the previous year. Numbers have been declining since 2014, when the oil boom led to a spike in rig deployment not seen since 1985. In early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic severely impacted oil extraction operations and rig numbers fell across all regions. Most land drilling operations are located in North America, while Asia Pacific is home to the greatest number of offshore rigs.

Market leaders

Switzerland-based contractor Transocean is the largest offshore drilling company worldwide. In 2020, it had a revenue of 3.15 billion U.S. dollars. Its closest competitor is Valaris plc, which was formed in mid-2019 from a merger between Ensco and Rowan. Valaris has the greatest oil rig fleet of any company.

Decommissioning of stationary offshore rigs

With reserves in previous strongholds depleting, many more stationary rigs will become redundant. The offshore decommissioning market is expected to value at 8.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2024, of which the United Kingdom would be the greatest contributor.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "Global oil rigs industry".


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