ENSCO International contracts its 47 jack-up drilling rigs, one deepwater semisubmersible, and one barge rig to oil exploration and production companies operating around the world. The company has benefited from rising oil prices, which have caused demand for drilling rigs to skyrocket and boosted the dayrates charged by the firms that provide rigs to exploration and production companies. ENSCO's fleet is one of the youngest in the industry, so its top-notch technology commands premium prices in an already high-price environment - and since ENSCO purchased many of the rigs in the '90s, when demand for rigs (and, therefore, rig prices) was low, the company's margins are among the highest in the industry. The company earned $1.9 billion in revenue and $779 million in net income in 2009.
Many of the rigs ENSCO has deployed in America are located in the shallow Gulf of Mexico; since 2003, production in the Gulf has been in decline, causing many oil companies to pack up and head out of the region. For this reason, ENSCO's North/South America segment is the only segment of the company that has seen dayrates and revenues decline. The company has realized the weakening position of the Gulf, however, and is slowly moving its rigs abroad, to higher-price markets in Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific. The Gulf is seeing rising demand in the deepwater sector, however, and ENSCO has one deepwater rig and is in the process of building four more. These rigs do not have any high-end specifications, like 10,000 foot ultra-deepwater capability, but are simply capable of drilling in 8,500 feet of water. Without the high-end specs, however, these rigs cost far less for the company to build, allowing the company to build more on the same budget. ENSCO competes with offshore drill contractors, including Transocean, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Noble, and Rowan Companies.(Read more at Wikinvest )