Offshore drilling companies were hit on Monday after analysts at Deutsche Bank downgraded four companies in a re-evaluation of its stance on the sector.
Analyst Mike Urban said offshore drillers faced challenges ahead, as evidenced by a secular recapitalisation of offshore fleets and continued pressure in the floater market.
Companies may be "buoyed by seemingly strong rate fixtures", but Deutsche's analysts said it would be wrong to mistake a "wholesale recapitalisation of the offshore rig fleet for a more benign cyclical downturn".
"We see significant further deterioration in the offshore drilling market as relatively flat demand is met with a relentless surge of new supply," Mr Urban wrote in a note on Monday. "More problematic is the increasing likelihood that a huge chunk of the existing fleet will ultimately become impaired and/or obsolete."
Following the downgrades, Transocean fell 2 per cent to $39.48. Noble Corporation fell half a per cent to $27. Ensco fell 21 per cent to $50.52 and Diamond Offshore Drilling fell 1 per cent to $47.09.
The S&P oil and gas drilling index fell 1 per cent to 486.66.
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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Canada's largest energy customer has boosted domestic oil production from less than four million barrels per day in 2008 to 9.2 million bpd now, while gas output has risen from 67 million cubic feet per day to 89 million cf/d.
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International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $57.75 per barrel at 0733 GMT, up 58 cents from the previous close, after trading as high as $58.13. U.S. WTI crude was at $51.95 per barrel, up 50 cents. Earlier in the day, it traded as high as $52.22.