Certain trends which signify a rig market recovery have emerged insidiously over the past four months. Now they’re obvious enough to warrant attention. Rig contracting activity is up, utilization is up, asset values are up, and the oil price is relatively stable. Some “stranded” rigs are being acquired by new buyers, and purchase offers for others are increasing in number and volume. The growing interest in newer, higher spec jack-ups and 6th and 7th generation semisubs (especially harsh environment) and drillships is pushing asset values upward.