Oil and natural gas firms are expected to spend $114 billion in deepwater drilling operations worldwide by 2022, up from $43 billion in 2012, according to Wood Mackenzie. Appraisal, exploration and development well figures will also increase to 1,250 wells per year from 500 per year, the company said. Drilling activities worldwide returned to pre-Gulf of Mexico oil spill highs in 2012 and "the deepwater frontier is increasingly viewed as the key driver for growth among international operators, oilfield service companies, and rig contractors," Wood Mackenzie added.

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