Oil driller Nabors ( NBR) posted a sharp rise in second-quarter earnings and said it expects earnings to continue to show strong growth.For the quarter ended June 30, the company made $233 million, or 77 cents a share, up from the year-ago $132 million, or 41 cents a share. Excluding items, latest-quarter earnings were 82 cents a share, a dime ahead of the Thomson Financial analyst consensus estimate. Revenue surged to $1.14 billion from $786 million a year earlier, beating the $1.08 billion Wall Street estimate. "We are acutely aware that there appear to be two distinct rig markets, the one which actually exists and the one that the majority of analysts expect to develop out of the current gas storage overhang," the company said in a Monday afternoon statement. "We fully recognize the potential for short-term softening in the rig market if gas prices cause significant customer spending reductions. While this situation reduces the degree of certainty of our outlook over the near-term, recent and prospective developments lead us to conclude that any impact on our results will likely be much less and shorter in duration than consensus expectations imply for both this year and next. We continue to see a high number of customers planning sizeable increases in rig requirements, particularly for new higher specification rigs, across our global businesses. "Regardless of the near-term North American natural gas outlook, we still expect significantly higher year-over-year quarterly results throughout the balance of the year and next year for all of our major businesses," Nabors added. "We expect our U.S. Lower 48 Land Drilling business to grow nicely over the next six quarters, but we expect even larger percentage gains in our International, U.S. Well-Servicing and U.S. Offshore units." Shares rose 82 cents late Monday to $31.47.