DRILLING MARKET FOCUS: Drilling activity expected to increase in 2004

Analysts and oil service companies predict an increase in drilling activity for 2004. In a Sept. 19, 2003, research brief, James Wicklund, an oil services analyst in the Houston office of Banc of America Securities LLC, New York, forecast 15% growth in US drilling activity for 2004. Bernard Duroc-Danner, chairman and CEO of Weatherford International Ltd., Houston (WFT), was more conservative in suggesting only 10% growth in US drilling in 2004, in his presentation at the 2003 Banc of America Securities 33rd Annual Investment Conference last month. US activity accounts for 34% of WFT's revenue, and Duroc-Danner said that the firm will be shifting its attention internationally, citing m...

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