By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 28 -- US drilling activity barely increased this week, up just 2 units to 840 rotary rigs in various phases of the drilling process and down sharply from 1,275 during the same period last year, officials at Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.
Land operations registered the only increase, up 7 rigs to 722 active this week. Offshore drilling was down 4 rigs to 106 for the US as a whole, and down 5 to 100 in the Gulf of Mexico. The number of rotary rigs working inland waters decreased by 1 to 12.
Canadian activity jumped by 40 rigs to 250 drilling this week, still a sharp drop from 320 a year ago.
In the US, the number of rigs drilling for oil increased by 3 to 142. The number drilling for natural gas was down 1 to 697. One rig was unclassified. Directional drilling increased by 8 rigs to 243, while horizontal drilling projects were down 1 rig to 68.
Among major producing states, Louisiana registered the only decline this week, down 5 rigs with 148 still working. That was offset by Texas, which increased its rig count by 5 to 323. Oklahoma and Wyoming were down 1 rig each to 104 and 44, respectively.
Rig counts were unchanged for the week in New Mexico at 46, California 22, and Alaska 12.
The number of mobile offshore rigs under contract in the Gulf of Mexico increased by 4 to 132 of the 197 units available. That bumped up the rig utilization rate by 2 points to 67% in those waters, said officials at ODS-Petrodata Group in Houston.
In European waters, both the number of rigs under contract and the available fleet were down 2 to 87 out of 104. That caused a slight dip in the utilization rate to 83.7% for that market.
Worldwide, there was a net gain of 4 contracted rigs to 529 out of a total fleet of 656 mobile offshore rigs. Global utilization among those rigs increased slightly to 80.6%.