MADRID, July 3 The world's fleet of oil rigs
capable of drilling in deep waters, which are currently in short
supply, will double in the coming years, the chief executive of
the world's largest oil services company said on Thursday.
Schlumberger (SLB.N) CEO Andrew Gould said around 160 new
rigs are currently under construction.
"Sixty eight is the deep water and the interesting thing is
that it doubles the size of the deep water fleet," Gould told
reporters at the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress.
Tightness in the rig market has contributed to high oil
prices by delaying many companies' drilling plans and the
startup of new fields. Rig hire rates have also soared.
As easy-to-access oil fields deplete, new production
increasingly relies on companies developing fields far offshore
such as in the Gulf of Mexico.
(Reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Paul Bolding)