US rig count increases slightly ahead of holiday

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 22 --
US drilling activity increased slightly this week with 1,714 rotary rigs working, 5 more than the previous week and up from 1,178 rigs drilling in the comparable period a year ago, Baker Hughes Inc. reported Dec. 22 ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Land operations accounted for the bulk of the gain, up 5 to 1,675 rigs drilling. Offshore drilling increased by 2 rigs to 25 working, all in the Gulf of Mexico. But that was offset by a 2-rig decline in inland waters activity with 14 rigs still working.

Of the US rigs active, 931 were drilling for natural gas, 10 fewer than the previous week. The number drilling for oil increased by 15 to 771 units. There were 12 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling increased by 5 rigs to 959. Directional drilling was down 11 rigs to 209.

Oklahoma had the biggest gain in its rig count among major producing states, up by 9 to 158 working. North Dakota’s count increased by 4 to 149. California gained 3 for a total 38 rigs working, and New Mexico increased by 1 unit to 68 drilling. Unchanged were Pennsylvania with 103 active rigs; Colorado 64, Arkansas 37, and Alaska 7. Wyoming was down 1 rig with 42 still working. Louisiana and West Virginia lost 2 each with respective counts of 173 and 21. Texas had the biggest loss, down 3 to 746 rotary rigs still turning to the right.

Canada’s rotary rig count fell by 189 to 311 units still working. That compared with 268 rigs drilling during the same period last year.

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