Worldwide drilling surges ahead

Contractors are increasing capacity and operators are collaborating in the increasingly tight drilling markets. Rig losses due to fires and hurricanes exacerbate the shortage of qualified drilling units.World drilling activity is strong and has increased over the last 3 years. The worldwide rig count peaked in July 2005 at 2,759, a 16% increase in 15 months (Fig. 1). Click here to enlarge imageMarket prices for oil and natural gas are the main drivers for the drilling expansion, but rig capacity and labor remain major limiting factors. Operators have been expanding their capital expenditure programs but the rig supply is inelastic, leading to impressive day rate gains in most drilling se...

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