Watching the World: UK offshore gloom

As the UK offshore industry struggled to emerge from last year's economic slump, dubiously hopeful headlines began to recur in the trade press. The promise of a "Third Age" for the province had the ring of a sector trying to convince itself of the idea that the future wasn't as bleak as it seemed. Numbers told the truer tale. Many months after the US Gulf Coast market had shaken off the gloom of the global downturn, rig market observers still were reporting North Sea counts languishing at historic lows.Taking the long view became a necessity in Aberdeen.When oil shot up to $30/bbl and little improvement was seen on the orderbooks of North Sea contractors, frustrations grew. Sluggi...

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