DRILLING MARKET FOCUS: South America drilling pace picking up speed

Companies are rewriting contracts and developing new working relationships to accelerate drilling in South America.Recent shifts to regain sovereignty in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia have affected drilling plans, patterns, and fleets. Land drilling is down 21% in Ecuador but, after a few years of depression, is finally on the rise in Venezuela, where land drilling is up 27% and offshore drilling up 42% from a year ago. Brazil is also poised to invest heavily in drilling projects over the next 5 years.Rig countsLand drilling has driven the 52% increase in the overall South American rig count from mid-2003 to mid-2006. There were 240 rigs working on and offshore South America in July 200...

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