US drilling activity increases by 6 rigs

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Nov. 26 -- US drilling activity increased by 6 rotary rigs to 1,113 units working this week, Baker Hughes reported Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. That's up from 835 active rigs during the same period a year ago.

The increase was divided evenly between land, up by 3 units to 995 working, and offshore, up by 3 units to 100 in the Gulf of Mexico and 104 in US waters as a whole. Drilling in inland waters was unchanged with 14 rigs working.

Canada's rig count increased by 20 to 434 making hole this week, up from 329 a year ago.

Among US rigs, the number drilling for oil decreased by 5 to 152, but those drilling for natural gas increased by 11 to 959. There were 2 rigs unclassified. Directional drilling increased by two units to 271, but horizontal drilling declined by 4 to 94.

New Mexico led this week's increase, up by 8 rotary rigs to 70 working. Wyoming added 4 for a total of 65. Rig counts in Louisiana and Oklahoma gained 2 each to 157 and 145, respectively. California had 26 rigs working, an addition of 1. Texas and Alaska remained unchanged, with respective rig counts of 474 and 11.

ODS-Petrodata Consulting & Research, Houston, said Wednesday that two jack up rigs left the US Gulf of Mexico this week, leaving 162 mobile offshore rigs available for work in those waters. The number of rigs under contract decreased by 1 to 123, slightly increasing the utilization rate to 75.9%.

In European waters, the rig fleet increased by 1 to 96, while the number of contracted rigs rose by 1 to 75, for 78.1% utilization. Worldwide, there was a net increase of 3 mobile offshore rigs under contract to 529, out of a total fleet of 656. That boosted the global utilization rate among mobile offshore rigs to 80.6%.

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