US rig count ascends again, aided by increased land drilling

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 12 -- US drilling activity increased this week by 9 rigs, with 747 rotary rigs reported drilling in the US and its waters, Baker Hughes Inc., Houston, said Friday. A year ago, the US rig count stood at 1,198.

Losses this week were in offshore and oil drilling. There were 625 land rigs working in the US this week, 12 more than last week. The number of units drilling inland waters rose 1, reaching 16.

Meanwhile, the number of rigs drilling in the US offshore sector was down 4 to 106. All of these were lost in the Gulf of Mexico, which reached 103 for the week from 107 the week before. A year ago there were 57 additional rigs, or 160 total, working in the gulf.

ODS-Petrodata Group, Houston, reported that the number of mobile offshore rigs available for work in the gulf increased by 2 to 200 this week, while the number under contract also increased by 2 to 124. That improved the rig utilization rate in those waters by 0.4 points to 62.0%.

The total number of US rotary rigs drilling for natural gas was up by 12 to 625 this week, Baker Hughes reported. There were 135 rigs drilling for oil, a decline of 10. Another 2 active rigs were unclassified.

The number of rigs involved in directional drilling was down 12 at 212, but horizontal drilling was up 3 rigs to 59.

Oklahoma led the US decline, down 9 rigs to 68. Wyoming was down 1 rig to 34 for the week. Alaska remained unchanged at 13, while Texas led gains, increasing 10 rigs to 306. Rig counts in California were up 1 to 21, New Mexico up 2 to 32, and Louisiana up 3 to 158.

In Canada, there were 51 fewer rigs working this week, reaching 127 for the week.

Worldwide, ODS-Petrodata said the number of mobile offshore rigs under contract increased 3 to 520 out of a total fleet of 655. That raised the fleet utilization rate to 79.4%. Activity in European waters remained unchanged, with the number of rigs under contract remaining 92 out of 102 available, for 90.2% utilization.

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