Malaysian offshore drilling contractor Velesto Energy reported a net loss of 52 million ringgit (US$12.4 million) in the quarter ending 30 September 2021, but its rig utilisation rate was the best this year.

Group revenue of 91.5 million ringgit was 29.9% lower than the same quarter last year, mainly due to lower activities in its drilling segment.

The company's drilling segment earned 31.7% less in revenue than in the third quarter of 2020.

The average jack-up rig utilisation rate was 51% (based on six rigs capacity) compared to 60% (based on seven rigs) in the corresponding quarter in 2020.

However, the third-quarter utilisation rate was superior to the second and first quarters of this year.

Likewise, group revenue in the third quarter was superior to the second and first quarters of 2021.

One of Velesto's jack-up drilling rigs - Naga 7 - sunk off the coast of Sarawak, Malaysia, following a punch-through incident on 3 May 2021, hence reducing its jack-up fleet to six.

Velesto said five of its six jack-up rigs are working; the remaining unit is being tendered out for a number of potential contracts next year.

Despite the various market challenges caused by Covid-19, "at present the upstream activities are continuing globally with more contracts being awarded. In Malaysia, a number of new contracts have been awarded with a few more being tendered out. The group is actively bidding for new tenders for contracts scheduled to commence next year", said Velesto.

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