World drilling market absorbing new jack ups

Demand for jack up drilling rigs has pushed up day rates, with 17 newbuilds delivered in 2000-04 and 12 more under construction. Several new designs lead the way, including the Rowan/LeTourneau Tarzan class, Keppel FELS Super B Class, Friede & Goldman's JU-2000, and the Baker Pacific Marine 375. These designs enable deep drilling to 35,000 and perhaps 40,000 ft, in water as deep as 500 ft.The demand for newbuild and secondhand jack ups and upgrading of existing rigs are driven by a growing interest in natural gas prospecting and development. Contractors continue to upgrade their fleets, selling lower specification rigs. Jack ups now comprise about three-quarters of the worldwide flee...

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