-- US rig count lethargic despite strong gas prices The US rig count is lower than current oil and natural gas prices would justify, but two analysts say anticipated sharply higher gas prices this winter should result in a sharp rebound for US drilling activity next year.
-- Industry praises EPA hydraulic fracturing study Industry officials praised the key findings of a draft report by the EPA that found hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane wells does not contaminate underground drinking water sources.
-- US drilling registers slight gain in land rigs US drilling activity registered a small increase with 847 rotary rigs working this week, 9 more than the previous week, but down from 1,252 a year ago, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc.
-- Increasing access Congress is expected to resume negotiations on a sweeping energy bill this month. On the table are well-publicized items of interest to industry.
-- Statoil to drill Alpha North in mid-2003 Statoil ASA and Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. have signed a 200 million kroner contract for the use of Transocean Searcher drilling rig on Statoil's Alpha North satellite in the North Sea Sleipner West field.