By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 12 -- US drilling activity continued to grow with 1,407 rotary rigs working this week, an increase of 11 units from the previous week and up from 1,126 in operation in the same period a year ago, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.
This marks the first time the US rig count has topped 1,400 since the week ended Feb. 3, 2009, when the count was at 1,472 and falling.
US offshore operations led the latest increase, up by 7 rotary rigs to 49 in the Gulf of Mexico and a total of 51 rigs in US waters. Land operations increased by 2 units to 1,341. Inland waters activity also had a gain of 2 rigs, to 15.
Of the US rigs working, 927 were drilling for natural gas, 1 more than the previous week. There were 466 rotary rigs drilling for oil, an increase of 10. There were 14 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling increased by 7 rigs to 702. Directional drilling dropped 14 to 216.
Louisiana registered the biggest gain among major producing states, up by 10 rigs to 209 drilling. North Dakota and Pennsylvania increased by 6 rigs each to 92 and 74, respectively. Texas added 2 rotary rigs for a total of 590. Arkansas, Wyoming, and California were unchanged with respective counts of 42, 37, and 25. Colorado was down 1 rig to 50. Oklahoma and Alaska lost 2 each to 110 and 9, respectively. New Mexico dropped 4 to 53, and West Virginia was down 6 to 18.
Canada’s rotary rig count fell by 64 to 479 working, compared with 220 units working a year ago.