Oil prices, mergers change drilling markets

Dean E. Gaddy Drilling Editor Low oil prices and the resulting merger mania in the oil industry are changing contract drilling markets, says Houston-based drilling contractor Global Marine Inc. The firm's worldwide summary of current offshore rig economics (Score) fell nearly 30% during 1998. And the December Score revealed dayrate declines in all regions. Global Marine President and CEO Bob Rose said, "The effect that (low oil prices) have had on the offshore rig fleet has been dramatic. After almost 10 years of steady improvements, today we have 125 (offshore) rigs stacked around the world." Before the downturn, says Rose, typically 50 rigs were out of...

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