The offshore-oil industry placed more orders for mobile drilling rigs in 1980 than any previous year in its history, according to the Offshore Rig Data Service's annual reconciliation of the offshore rig market.
A total of 176 mobile rigs, valued at about $7.7 billion, were ordered from yards around the world. This is more units than were ordered over the last five years and 64 more rigs than the previous high, set in 1974.
At the beginning of 1981, the order book for new mobile rigs totaled 207 units, with deliveries stretching into 1984. American contractors have ordered 67 percent o f these units.