North American offshore rig market's spotlight shifts to international waters ///

The US Gulf of Mexico (US-GOM) rig market remains the world’s largest in terms of number of rigs. However, the US-GOM jackup market remains the weakest link in the global rig market chain, although rig demand in the deepwater Gulf, and in most of the world’s other rig markets, remains robust. US Gulf fleet decline continues As illustrated in Fig. 1, US-GOM offshore rig supply and demand have continued on a downward trend for most of the past year. The Gulf rig market, particularly the jackup market, has never fully recovered from the drop in activity that occurred after the devastating hurricanes of 2005. However, due to strong international demand for drilling rigs, this has not resulted in significant numbers of idle rigs. As of mid-June 2007, 133 mobile offshore rigs are positioned in the US Gulf. Of these, 111 have contracts, although not all of the contracted rigs are working at any given time.

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