Well-construction paradigm

Drilling industry activity has been a rollercoaster ride in recent years, with drilling contractors scrambling during the activity peak in the winter of 2000-01 to mobilize rigs and crews at a breakneck pace.Robust natural gas prices had driven rig acquisitions and an extensive rig new-build program (OGJ, Sept. 17, 2001, p. 78).The peak gave way to the latest slump, as this year's Drilling Report that starts on p. 43 reveals, leaving drilling contractors to manage complex capital-investment structures, deal with rising insurance costs, find ways of keeping skilled workers, and maintain and even continue to expand their rig fleets.The industry seems mystified, however, by the current d...

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