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Over the years. I have seen many changes in the industry from the period of growth in the I970's to our present day recession. I have had .the privilege to witness first hand some outstanding advances in techniques and technology and yet for me at least, drilling remains something of a mystery. Infamous for its jargon, it is as complex as it is fascinating. It is therefore a particular pleasure to discover, after so many years, a book which is both readable and comprehensive, and which succeeds in revealing to me, as I am sure it will do for all its readers, whatever their level of interest, something of the "black art" of drilling. It also gives me pleasure to think that much of the authors knowledge arises from his connection with Houlders. First as a cadet on the "Worcester" established at Ingress Abbey on the Thames, my Grandfathers home and more recently during his time offshore with the company. Houlder Marine Drilling is the offspring of the shipping company founded by my Grandfather in 1848. Interest in drilling arose in about 1973 as the result of a chance conversation with a Norwegian shipowner who introduced me to Bernard Larsen, another shipowner, who I believe to have originated the conceptual design for the famous H-3. Just as the author learned from Houlder, so Houlder in turn had learned from the established drilling industry which in turn had learned from the Moho project. This was to discover by drilling, the composition of the core of the earth. As much as possible was to be drilled through water, and I think that the drillship owes more to the Moho technology than to the offshore shallows of Louisiana.