SPECIAL REPORT: Drillers weather downturn but maintain, grow rig fleet

This article, last year, celebrated the drilling industry's achievements in finding crews and mobilizing an aging rig fleet to exceed not only the 1997 drilling activity peak but also what many pundits said was the industry's drilling capacity at the time. Click here to enlarge imageThe cycle was short, leaving North American drilling contractors to manage the ensuing sharp downturn (Fig. 1). The drilling industry's mood, however, appears to remain cautiously optimistic.Where wages, day rates, and rig counts remain soft, contractors appear to be maintaining rigs and crews and even growing their fleet by continuing new-build programs and rig-acquisition plans.Working to keep e...

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