Global drilling recovery marches on; utilization nears peak

The industry is heading into its third year of recovery, and rig utilization is approaching capacity. Click here to enlarge imageDrilling activity in the past year has been higher than the previous 2 years and peaked first-quarter 2004 at 2,477 rigs, more than double the historic low of 1,156 active rigs in 1999 (Fig. 1). The peak represents a 12% increase from a year ago and may still be surpassed in the remaining months of 2004. Click here to enlarge imageBoth gas and oil prices continue to rise, driving exploration and development drilling. UK Brent has risen from slightly less than $30/bbl in summer 2003 to $45/bbl in August 2004, and is flirting with $50/bbl at (Fig. 2).Despite Org...

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