The improved financial condition for explorers is now emboldening rig contractors to push for better pricing. (Bloomberg) — Explorers are once again testing the waters in their search for oil, according to Transocean Ltd., the world’s biggest offshore rig contractor by market value. Drillers worldwide are forecast to boost new commitments for all types of offshore work by 140 percent this year, Jeremy Thigpen, Transocean’s Chief Executive officer told analysts and investors in a conference call on Wednesday. Thigpen said he’s excited about opportunities to drill off the coast of Norway, the U.K. and Canada. It’s all thanks to the continued climb in crude prices after a three-year crash. Brent crude, the international benchmark, touched $71.28 a barrel late last month, the highest since December 2014. Explorers who slashed budgets and canceled their riskiest drilling projects when the market crashed to focus on safe, low-cost projects in shale fields […]