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Varco to Honghua Vying for $9 Billion of Russia Oil Rigs: Energy

Russia’s thirst for modern rigs able to drill in shale oil deposits heralds a $9 billion bonanza for manufacturers including National Oilwell Varco Inc. of the U.S. and China’s Honghua Group.

More than 57 percent of the nation’s 1,835-strong rig fleet is over 20 years old, according to VTB Capital research. Built to Soviet designs, many won’t be powerful or advanced enough for producers such as OAO Rosneft and OAO Gazprom Neft when they begin exploring Siberia’s shale rock, said Antony Crawford, Russia head for National Oilwell. The largest U.S. oil equipment supplier competes with Honghua and OAO OMZ for orders in Russia, the world’s largest energy producer.