Land rigs in demand; fleet consolidations continue in the Americas

Demand for land rigs has pushed up utilization and day rates; additional increases should occur in 2005. Drilling contractors are adding rigs through strategic acquisitions and newbuild programs in order to accommodate rising demand. US land drilling permits increased 41% in January 2005 from a year ago.Both operators and fleet owners can profit. Richard J. Mason challenged readers of The Land Rig Newsletter (Jan. 28, 2005) to dispute his assertion that operator profits are highest when day rates are highest. He points out that rig counts are generally highest when commodity prices are highest, and that day rates are not the primary determinant of operator profitability.US rig counts, per...

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