US rig count increases by 18

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 25
-- The US rig count had a respectable gain of 18 rotary rigs to 1,738 drilling this week, up from 1,444 in the comparable period a year ago, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

There were gains in all categories, with land operations up 13 units to 1,690 working. Activity in inland waters increased by 2 rigs to 20. Offshore drilling gained 3 for a total of 28 rotary rigs working, all of them in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of the US rigs working, 880 were drilling for natural gas, an increase of 5 from the previous week. The number drilling for oil grew by 12 to 851. There were 7 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling increased by 9 units to 995. Directional drilling was down to 224, 7 fewer than the previous week.

Texas registered the biggest gain among major producing states, with 12 more rigs working for a total 766. Louisiana gained 8 units to 176. Colorado increased by 5 to 71. North Dakota and Arkansas added 2 rigs each for respective counts of 155 and 34. Pennsylvania and California each gained 1 rig to 104 and 42, respectively. West Virginia was unchanged with 16 rotary rigs still working. New Mexico’s count slipped by 1 to 77. Alaska was down 2 to 6. Oklahoma had 156 rotary rigs working, 3 fewer than the previous week. Wyoming’s rig count fell by 10 to 38.

Canada’s rotary rig count fell hard, down 157 to 429 as the spring thaw turned roadways to mud and flooded drilling sites with annual runoff. That compared with 203 rotary rigs working in the same period last year.

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