US drilling activity continues to fall

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 5 -- US drilling activity continued to decline with more producers laying down rigs in an uncertain economy, according to the latest count by Baker Hughes Inc.

The total US rig count was down 14 to 1,852 rotary rigs still working, compared with 1,828 during the same period a year ago. The biggest decline was in land operations, down 12 rigs to 1,771 working. Inland waters operations lost 4 units with 18 still drilling. That was partially offset by a gain of 2 rigs in offshore drilling to 60 active rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and 63 in US waters overall.

Of the rigs still working 1,428 were drilling for natural gas, 15 fewer than the previous week. There were 413 rigs drilling for oil, an increase of 1 unit; 11 rigs were unclassified. Horizontal drilling increased by 5 to 625 rigs this week. Directional drilling was down 4 units to 366.

Among the major producing states, Texas dropped 38 rigs with 852 still working. Colorado was down 8 to 113, while Louisiana lost 5 to 185. The Arkansas rig count fell by 3 to 54 drilling. Oklahoma slipped by 1 to 175. North Dakota, California, and Alaska were unchanged with respective rig counts of 86, 40, and 12. New Mexico increased by 2 to 71, while Wyoming gained 3 to 79.

Moreover, the latest rig counts in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado were all lower than during the comparable period a year ago.

Canada's weekly rig count dipped by 2 to 404 still active, up from 388 in the same week last year.

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