Stena AB /

Stena Drilling

Stena Drilling is one of the world’s leading independent drilling operators, with four drillships for ultradeep water and three semi-submersible drilling rigs operating in a global market. With several successful new newbuildings and refurbishment projects, Stena Drilling been a pioneer in several areas of technological development and innovation in the offshore industry.

Reduced costs bring increased competitiveness

Since the peak of 2013–2014, activity in the oil sector has declined. High operating and development costs in combination with low oil prices have reduced oil companies’ oil extraction budgets by up to 30%. There is an oversupply of deepwater rigs, which had a low utilisation rate in 2016.

In 2015, Stena Drilling initiated a programme to reduce costs to the levels in the early 2000s. The 2016 target was to reduce costs by MUSD 100, which was achieved and has had an immediate effect to the result.

Efficient rigs and ships

Stena Drilling owns four drillships and three semi-submersible drilling rigs. The utilisation rate has been high for all units with exception of Stena Clyde, which has been laid up outside Australia during the year.

No new long-term contracts were signed in the sector during 2016, but Stena Drilling was successful in signing three shorter-term contracts for 2017. Stena DrillMAX will be working off ­Senegal, Stena IceMAX off Ireland and Stena Spey in the North Sea. In 2016, we invested in MPD1) equipment to further strengthen our customer offering. Delivery of Stena MidMAX, a semi-­submersible drilling rig for harsh environments, was scheduled for March 2016, but has been ­seriously delayed. The rig is not expected to be ready until the middle of 2018. Samsung Heavy Industries and Stena Drilling are in discussions about the implications of this delay.

Engaged employees

One reason that Stena Drilling has managed to sign contracts when few other companies have succeeded is the long relationships the company has with ­customers. Customers’ experience from previous assignments gives them knowledge of Stena Drilling’s motivated employees and their ability to offer high-quality service.

For Stena Drilling, digitalisation is part of the ongoing development work to increase productivity and safety. Digital processes are used for dynamic positioning systems, control systems for energy supply and monitoring systems for process safety.

1) Managed Pressure Drilling – enables efficient drilling through porous layers.

Erik Ronsberg

CEO, Stena Drilling

We are optimistic about 2017 as we anticipate higher oil prices. The supply of oil will fall, as both OPEC and Russia are expected to cut production, while demand is expected to increase at the same time.

Stena Drilling’s strategy is to be the customers’ preferred supplier, thus enabling extended and recurring contracts with customers. First-class performance and being a flexible supplier with effective decision-making means that we will continue to distinguish ourselves in the market.

With our high investments in quality maintenance, well-developed safety systems and motivated employees, customers have confidence in us.


Unit Customer Expiration2)
Stena Clyde Warm stacked N/A
Stena Don Warm stacked N/A
Stena Spey Repsol3) Q2 2017
Stena DrillMAX Cairn Energy Q4 2018
Stena Carron Exxon Q1 2018
Stena Forth Hess Q2 2017
Stena IceMAX Providence Resources4) Q3 2017

 1) As of March 2017
2) Including options
3) Commencing April 2017
4) Commencing June 2017


Operational use as % of total available days.

A day in the Life of Stena Drilling

Follow a Stena Drilling offshore worker and see how his/hers daily life can look like.