March 10 (Reuters) - Offshore oil drilling stocks are set to rise with a projected rebound in deepwater drilling after its deepest downturn in 30 years as investment capital rushed to land-based shale drilling, analysts said in a Barron's article.
Evercore ISI analyst James West favors Transocean Ltd , Ensco PLC, Rowan Cos PLC and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc, he told Barron's. Last month, shareholders at Ensco and Rowan agreed to merge.
West called Transocean "the best-managed company in the group" and told Barron's the company "has plenty of room for improvement" after its December purchase of Ocean Rig UDW, which operated semi-submersible oil platforms and underwater drillships.
Officials at Transocean were not immediately available for comment.
Graeme Forster, who manages international equity strategy at Bermuda-based Orbis Investment Management, has taken positions in Transocean, Ensco, Diamond Offshore and Borr Drilling Ltd .
Capital flows back and forth between offshore and onshore drilling in cycles, Forster told Barron's, noting: "There's nothing wrong with shale, but there’s so much capital there that returns have been crushed."
"You’re never going to fulfill all the world’s energy needs from shale," Forster said. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Peter Cooney)