US drilling activity undergoes another small growth spurt

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Sept. 6 -- US drilling activity continued its recent pattern of increasing in small spurts, up 4 rotary rigs this week with a total 851 working, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc., Houston.

That's down sharply from the 1,216 rigs working in the US and its waters during the same period a year ago.

Operations in inland waters accounted for most of the week's small increase, up 3 units with 19 working. Offshore drilling increased as well, adding 2 rigs for 109 in the Gulf of Mexico and 111 for all of US offshore. Land drilling, which accounted for all of last week's 9-rig gain, lost 1 unit this week to total 721.

Canada had 258 rigs working this week, 7 fewer than the previous week and down from 329 last year.

Among US rigs, 733 were drilling for natural gas this week, an increase of 12. There were 116 rigs drilling for oil, 8 less than previously. Directional drilling increased by 4 rigs to 231. Horizontal drilling was unchanged at 58 units.

Texas's rig count improved by 18 to 346 this week, while Louisiana was up 8 to 178. California added 2 units to 21; Alaska had 10 rigs working, 1 more than the previous week. However, those gains were partially offset by Oklahoma's loss of 11 rigs, with 96 still active. New Mexico's rig count was down 4 to 37, while Wyoming's dipped by 1 to 39.

ODS-Petrodata Group, Houston, reported 1 more mobile offshore rig under contract in the Gulf of Mexico this week, and 1 fewer unit in the available rig fleet. That boosted rig utilization to 66.8% in those waters, with 131 units contracted out of 196 available for work.

In European waters, the number of offshore rigs under contract was unchanged at 87, but that rig fleet also decreased by 1 unit, pushing utilization to 83.7% for that market. The net global result was a net gain of 1 contracted rig to 533. The available fleet remained unchanged at 658 for 81% utilization.


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