US drilling activity continues to rise

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 10
-- US drilling activity continued climbing this week from a 2-year high, up by another 10 rotary rigs to 1,723 working, compared with 1,161 active units in the same period a year ago, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

All of the gain was in land drilling, up by 10 units to 1,683 rigs making hole. Offshore drilling was unchanged with 23 rigs working, all in the Gulf of Mexico—no surprise with the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement still sitting on drilling permit applications while denying the existence of a de facto moratorium against offshore oil and gas exploration and development. Inland waters activity also was unchanged with 17 rigs working.

Of the US rigs active this week, 948 were drilling for natural gas, 13 fewer than the previous week. The number drilling for oil increased by 21 to 763. There were 12 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling was unchanged with 966 rotary rigs involved. Directional drilling increased by 7 to 225 units.

The biggest rig count increase among major producing states was in Texas, up 4 to 753 drilling. Oklahoma, Wyoming, and California had increases of 2 rigs each, with respective counts of 153, 49, and 36. North Dakota and Arkansas gained 1 rig each to 144 and 37, respectively. New Mexico was unchanged with 65 rotary rigs still working. Alaska’s rig count declined by 1 to 8. Colorado and West Virginia were down 2 rigs each to 65 and 22. Rig counts in Louisiana and Pennsylvania declined 3 units each to 173 and 100, respectively.

Canada’s rotary rig count jumped by 33 to 482 as seasonal conditions for rig movements improved, compared with 354 rotary rigs active in the comparable period last year.

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