Study Notes Upsurge In Offshore Rig Orders —U.S. Yards In Lead

Worldwide orders for offshore mobile and fixed rigs for exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas have increased considerably during the 12 months ending in July 1981, according to a study just released by the Bremen Institute for Shipping Economics.

At the beginning of July there were 224 units on order in 21 countries — 163 jackup rigs, 57 submersibles and semisubmers- ibles, and four drillships and drill barges.

At the same date in 1980, according to the institute's director, Dr. Hans Ludwig Beth, there were 129 units on orderbooks — 109 jackups, 16 submersibles and semisubmersibles, and four drillships and barges.

Dr. Beth said this sector was in the doldrums at the beginning of 1978 when there were only 33 units on order worldwide. With the pressure on to find new sources of oil and natural gas, there has been a continuous, dramatic growth in the number of orders.

The U.S. leads the field with contracts for 79 offshore units, followed by Japan with 33, Singapore with 29, France with 12, South Korea with nine and Canada with eight.

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