By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Feb. 2�Drilling activity continued to improve with 1,138 rotary rigs working in the US and its waters this week, Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.
That�s 22 more than the previous week and up strongly from 757 during the same period a year ago, officials said.
Onshore operations accounted for the bulk of that increase, with 953 land rigs drilling in the US this week, 24 more than last week. A total of 900 rigs were drilling for gas, 21 more than a week ago.
Texas led the increase with 447 rigs making hole, up 19 from the previous week. Louisiana�s rig count was up two to 223. However, the number of rigs working in Oklahoma was down one to 130, while the New Mexico count slipped by five to 69. Wyoming was unchanged at 54.
There were 579 rotary rigs working in Canada this week, 20 more than the previous week and up from 545 a year ago.
Overall activity in the Gulf of Mexico was unchanged this week, said officials at Offshore Data Services Inc.
The number of mobile offshore rigs under contract in the gulf was unchanged at 180 out of 210 available for an utilization rate of 85.7%.
One rig came off contract in European waters, causing utilization to dip to 88.1% with 89 rigs contracted out of a fleet of 1010. Worldwide utilization also was down to 85.8%, with 558 mobile offshore rigs under contract out of a total available fleet of 650.