SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

May 16, 2011 08:16 ET

Surging Demand Set to Boost Revenues for Hercules Offshore and Transocean

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Hercules Offshore & Transocean

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 16, 2011) - Companies focused on Oil Drilling have seen their top lines surge in recent quarters as global oil consumption continues to grow. According to the International Energy Agency, worldwide oil demand grew by 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011, on top of 4.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2010. With demand for oil so high at the moment, the biggest problem facing the drilling industry is getting more rigs operational. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Oil and Gas sector and provides research reports on Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ: HERO) and Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

In recent months, investors have focused on drilling companies that do not have exposure to Libya and other troubled spots, but stand to benefit from oil's recent spike in demand. Uncertainty over what will happen with the 12th largest exporter of oil in the world is partially driving the need to raise rig counts.

Earlier this year, President Obama declared interest in improving domestic oil production, which is expected to lead to more offshore drilling permits. However, increased emphasis on safer rigs as well as slow approval processes may impede getting rigs into the water quickly.

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Hercules Offshore said it expects pricing at its domestic offshore and international offshore segment to improve in 2011 because of an improvement in commodity prices and higher spending by oil and gas companies. Hercules recently completed the buyout of 20 drilling rigs from Seahawk Drilling and now has a fleet of 53 jack-up rigs, making it the leader in the shallow waters of the US Gulf.

The largest offshore rig operator, Transocean, said during its first quarter earnings call that it sees greater demand for its most capable rigs and those in the midwater class, while the standard deepwater market remains oversupplied. Transocean reported net income of $310 million, or 96 cents a share.

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