OPINION: You have to wonder if the last batch of state-of-the-art newbuild drillships stranded at Asian yards will land in the hands of established drilling contractors or canny investors.

Market watchers say all the big global drillers are looking keenly at the last three or four drillships available for purchase including two in South Korea (West Libra and West Draco) and one in Singapore (Can Do).

Another five newbuilds — Dorado, Zonda, Crete (Stena Evolution), Valaris DS-13 and Valaris DS-14 — are the subject of relatively recent purchase agreements yet to be completed, but it looks inevitable those deals will close given the excellent outlook for the drillship sector.