DRILLING MARKET FOCUS: Operators announce capex budgets, drilling programs

Operators have committed billions to exploratory and development drilling in 2008.OAO Gazprom announced in late December that it will invest 710.13 billion rubles ($28.8 billion) in 2008, down about 10% from its total 2007 investment. But the press release said the allocation toward capital investment, 479.42 billion rubles, was a 43% increase from 2007.In mid-December, Chevron Corp. announced it would spend $22.9 billion in 2008, up 15% from 2007. The company has 30 projects under development estimated at $1 billion or more.In early December, ConocoPhillips, the third largest US operator, announced a $15.3 billion budget for 2008, up 13% from 2007.StatoilHydro announced an estimated capi...

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