Noble Corp., Diamond Offshore shares down big on slower drilling outlook

|About: Noble Corporation plc (NE)|By:, SA News Editor

Noble Corp. (NE -9.7%) leads a drop in deepwater drilling contractors after saying it is seeing fewer contract opportunities than a year ago and the industry may be experiencing a “pause in the cycle” after years of growth fueled by oil and natural gas discoveries.

The pace of customer spending growth is expected to be lower this year compared with last year, NE says in its earnings call, and that's with 38 ultra-deepwater rigs around the world looking for work vs. 22 a year ago.

The market for shallow-water rigs also looks wobbly, as Hercules Offshore (HERO -16.3%) said yesterday in a fleet status report that it suspended plans to reactivate a shallow-water rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also: DO -5.3%, ESV -4.8%, RDC -3.8%, ATW -3.9%, RIG -3.5%, SDRL -2.8%, HP -1.1%, VTG -4.3%, PKD -1.9%.