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November/December

Strong rig demand, especially in Norway, to keep northwest Europe bustle alive into 2008

By Jeremy Cresswell, contributing editor There is no such thing as a steady state on the northwest Europe continental shelf (NWECS). Just when one thinks some sort of stability has been achieved, it is swiftly swept away by that absolute certainty … change. Big changes are indeed happening, some with surprising speed, and, as can be expected, Norway and the UK overwhelmingly dominate the European stage. But, while Norway remains perceived as fiscally stable, the UK is now regarded as fiscally unstable and unfair. It is becoming clearer by the year, perhaps even by the month, that if anyone believes this hugely important offshore region is growing old gently and gracefully, they should revise that view. The most graphic evidence ...

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US land drilling 2008 outlook: soft start, strong finish

By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor Think of a high-performing athlete at the top of his game, earning $20 million a year. His game falls off … and his salary slips to $16 million. A drop, to be sure, but he is still playing – and being compensated – at a very high level. That is the analogy that energy research analyst Dan Pickering used to describe what he sees as the outlook for United States land drilling in 2008, in particular the first half of the year. “A soft scenario, but soft at a very high level,” said Mr Pickering, director of research at Tudor, Pickering & Co Securities. With gas accounting for 85% of the land wells being drilled ...

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Is the water bluer on the other side of the Gulf?

by Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor US Gulf of Mexico rig activity at the end of September 2007 was at its lowest level since late 1992 in terms of contracted rigs. This is primarily a result of low natural gas prices but also a result of an industry affected by a hurricane season that runs from June through November. Much of the low activity level is attributable to idle jackups, which are most affected by low gas prices and hurricanes, while the deepwater and ultra-deepwater market is still booming and will expand with 13 newbuild semisubmersibles and drillships entering the region between 2008 and 2010, all with long-term drilling contracts. US Gulf of Mexico rig activity at the end of September ...

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