US rig count continues climbing

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 18
-- US drilling activity continued its slow climb with 1,720 rotary rigs working this week, 5 more than the previous week and up from 1,427 during the comparable period last year, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Land operations had the biggest gain, an increase of 4 units to 1,677 drilling. Inland waters activity increased by 1 rig to 18. Offshore drilling was unchanged with 25 rotary rigs at work, all in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of the US rigs now working, 875 are drilling for natural gas, 7 fewer than the previous week. The number of units drilling for oil increased by 12 to 839. There were 6 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling increased 5 rigs to 986. Directional drilling was up 6 to 231 units.

Texas reported the biggest gain among the major producing states, up 17 rigs to 754 drilling this week. Pennsylvania and Alaska increased by 3 rigs each to respective totals of 103 and 8. Wyoming gained 2 to 48, while New Mexico increased by 1 to 78. Unchanged were North Dakota at 153, Colorado 66, and California 41. Arkansas’s rig count was down 2 to 32. West Virginia lost 5 rigs with 16 still drilling. Louisiana and Oklahoma were down 6 rigs each to 168 and 159, respectively.

Canada’s rotary rig count fell by 42 to 586 as the winter drilling season draws to an end. That was up from 320 rigs in the same period last year.

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