SPECIAL REPORT: US drilling business poised for strong 2003 recovery

Within the next 2 years, drilling activity should reach the limit of existing rig capacity, prompting drilling-rig new builds as the US oil and gas industry struggles to restore natural gas production rates.Before new builds hit the market, 2003 rig utilization will first move upward, driving rig dayrates sharply higher and giving birth to yet another up cycle in the highly volatile drilling business.The only certainty in the oil patch is volatility. Drilling activity is no different. In only the past 4 years, the US rig count has gone from a record low to a 15-year high and back again.Why the volatility? Simply put, the rig count follows oil and gas prices. With the 1999 collapse in oil ...

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