Offshore rig construction boom continues ///

Demand for mobile offshore drilling rigs, particularly for drillships and semisubmersibles with deepwater capabilities, has been strong through much of 2008, and this has fueled a continuing boom in new rig construction. However, recent worldwide financial instability could sink the market. Construction and materials costs for new rigs are high, and an inability to secure financing could make it difficult for drilling contractors to order additional new units, or even complete all of the rigs currently planned, Fig. 1. Presently, 145 mobile offshore drilling rigs are under construction, 41 are on order, and a handful of others are planned, but without shipyard commitments as yet. This represents an increase in rigs on order since January, since 130 rigs were under construction and 45 were on order at the beginning of 2008, Table 1. At the moment, 44 drillships, 56 semisubmersibles and 83 jackups are under construction, on order or planned.

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