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 has been a pioneer in several areas of technological development and innovation within the offshore industry.

The number of tenders is increasing again

Despite a tough offshore market, Stena Drilling has managed to keep their units relatively well occupied during the year. In Africa, Stena DrillMAX was contracted by Cairn Energy. The contract, that was originally signed for two firm wells, grew to five wells due to the performance of the drillship and the close cooperation with the ­client. Stena IceMAX has also worked in Ireland for Providence Resources, drilling the deepest ever well in the country. The Stena Carron continues to work in Guyana for Exxon Mobil, and the Stena Spey in the North Sea for Repsol Sinopec. Although in receipt of Letters of Intent for work in 2018, at the end of 2017 only the drillship Stena Carron and the semi-submersible rig Stena Spey were on contract.

The performance the rigs have delivered has been to the highest standards. As an example, Stena DrillMAX had a 99,9 percent uptime during its recent campaign in Senegal.


Due to the situation with the market, Stena Drilling has focused on cost management by reducing cost wherever possible, renegotiating agreements with suppliers, and decreasing operational expenditure significantly. Since 2015, Stena Drilling has reduced operational expenditure over 30 percent while ensuring that the company and its employees are trained and have the tools to do their work. At the same time, Stena Drilling has maintained its fleet in excellent condition, much to the appreciation of our clients and personnel working onboard.


During the year, the number of tenders doubled compared to 2016. Unlike years past, most tenders have been campaign based rather than term based, meaning that a contract covers a specific well, which could take a month or two rather than many wells over a period of years. Therefore, the drilling units must be managed in such a way that they are ready to be employed in a short time, as well as be ­suitably flexible design-wise to cover many different types of work. The Stena Don was originally designed to operate in water depths of 250–500 metres off Norway. A project to upgrade the mooring capability of the rig is planned to commence in November 2018. This upgrade will enable the rig work in both shallower water depths (between 70 and 500 metres) and harsher environments, thereby enabling it to work in other locations, including the UK North Sea, Ireland and Canada, while still being able to operate in the Norwegian sector.

We are pioneers.

Erik Ronsberg

CEO, Stena Drilling

Oil prices have stabilised in 2017, and we hope that price will remain over 60 USD per barrel. The EIA has forecast an increase in global demand growth of 1.6 million barrels of oil per day over 2018, and as we see a decline in supply, the signals are positive for our industry. We believe that the market for our rigs will improve, with positive utilisation development in 2018 followed by higher day rates in 2019.

As Stena Drilling is part of an innovative, forward-thinking group of companies, our rigs are in excellent condition and available to work at relatively short notice. One of our challenges is to make sure that we maintain the right, motivated people to take us through this challenging period.


Unit Customer Expiration 2)
Stena Clyde NOGA Q2 2018
Stena Don Total Q3 2018
Stena Spey Nexen Q3 2018
Stena DrillMAX FAR Petroleum Q1 2019
Stena Carron Exxon Q1 2019
Stena Forth Energean Q4 2019
Stena IceMAX Undisclosed Q1 2019

1) As of April 2018
2) Including options


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.