By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 15 -- US oil and gas drilling in this year’s first quarter climbed 29% from a year earlier but remained below the first-quarter 2009 level, the American Petroleum Institute said in its latest quarterly well completion report.
An estimated 10,431 oil wells, natural gas wells, and dry holes were completed in the first quarter of this year, down almost 8% from first-quarter 2009, API said.
API figures show that the resurgence in oil-well completion activity that began earlier in the decade continues as an estimated 5,718 oil wells were drilled in first quarter of 2011, a 51% increase from year-ago levels.
For most of this decade, gas has been the primary US drilling target, but the figures of oil-well completions show the focus is changing, API said. The estimated number of oil wells drilled in this year’s first quarter outnumbers gas wells by 5,718 to 3,860.
API also reported total estimated footage of 75,662,000 ft drilled in the first quarter of 2011, a 38% climb from a year earlier.