United States: U.S. drilling ///

Predicting upstream activity for 2003 is more complicated than in prior years, given the industry’s performance in 2002. Discontinuities among the leading activity indicators were the norm and difficult to explain. Business was still reeling from 2001’s recession and terrorist attacks, and despite oil and gas prices that climbed consistently during first-half 2002, drilling activity went the opposite direction. It wasn’t until the second half, when prices reverted to early 2001 levels, that E&P work began to rise. But it was too little, too late, and the prevailing pessimism limited drilling to its lowest level since 1999.

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