UPDATE 2-Top oil drillers face years of pain, get a grip on cost

jueves 26 de febrero de 2015 06:50 GYT

* Transocean reports loss, Seadrill profit falls

* Moody's cuts Transocean to junk

* Shares rise 5-6 pct as costs under control (Adds Transocean, analysts, shares, Moody's)

OSLO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The world's biggest offshore drillers reported plunging earnings and orders on Thursday but managed to get a grip on costs to improve their chances of riding out a sectoral crisis that could last several more years.

Transocean made a net loss in the fourth quarter while rival Seadrill's bottom line nearly halved as both wrote down the value of their business and earned lower revenue after charter rates plunged.

Still, their underlying operations were better than the market had forecast and both managed to reduce their near-term spending commitments for new vessels, giving them cash for the lean years.

Rig firms that drill for oil companies have been hit as lower oil prices prompt firms to curb exploration. There is also an abundance of capacity as new vessels ordered during the boom times are being delivered.

Rigs firm are also squeezed by a corruption scandal at Brazil's Petrobras, the world's biggest offshore producer, and sanctions on Russia.

Dayrates for the most advanced, deepwater rigs that peaked at over $650,000 per day less than two years ago are now below $400,000.   Continuación...