I don't really care for Cramer, but here is his brief comparison of RIG and ESV:
When it comes to off-shore drilling, the name of the game is the age of your fleet, said Cramer. For Transocean, the company's aging fleet averages 16 years old, meaning the company has higher maintenance costs and increased downtime. The company has issued 26 million new shares of stock, as well as debt, to help finance its ongoing operations and its 7.5% dividend yield is at risk of being cut as the company struggles with ongoing legal issues.
Contrast that to Ensco, where the average drilling rig is only seven years old. Cramer said Ensco has one of the youngest fleets out there, meaning they're the most technologically advanced and get the best results faster with less maintenance and downtime. Ensco may only have a 2.9% dividend yield, but Cramer said Ensco's yield is far safer than that of Transocean.
Shares of Ensco are also cheaper, said Cramer, trading at just 8.1 times earnings compared to 12.3 times for Transocean. That's why when it comes to the deep water drillers, Ensco, with its better balance sheet and younger fleet, is the stock to own.
Average fleet age has some meaning, but there's a lot of devils in the details because rigs are often pulled in for modifications or major re-fits, making the "age" of the resulting rig something a bit different than referring to the first time it hit the water.
Cramer's not really wrong about the rig/esv issues (and I'm long both names) but, like you, I don't really care for him as a commentator.
Just clipped this blurb from Barron's (from a Canaccord) "Our favorite offshore driller remains Ensco (rated at Buy with a $71 target price) with 38% implied upside to our $71 target, steady earnings growth from new build deliveries, a solid 3% dividend yield and one of the best rig fleets in the industry."