US drilling rebounds, ending 3 weeks of losses

US drilling activity rebounded this week, ending 3 weeks of declines, officials at Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Oct. 25 -- US drilling activity rebounded this week, ending 3 weeks of declines, officials at Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

There were 856 rotary rigs working in the US and its waters this week, 13 more than the previous week but down sharply from the 1,063 units active during the same period a year ago. Land operations accounted for the increase, up 13 units with 727 rigs drilling. Inland water activity also increased, adding 2 rigs for a total of 20. The number of offshore rigs drilling this week declined by 2 to 106 in the Gulf of Mexico and 109 for the US as a whole.

Canada had 235 rotary rigs drilling this week, up 29 from the previous week but down from 284 a year ago.

There were 710 US rigs drilling for natural gas, an increase of 7 from the previous week. Those drilling for oil were up 5 to 142. There were 4 rigs unclassified. US rigs doing directional drilling declined by 6 to 220. Horizontal drilling was down 1 to 66 rigs.

Drilling activity in Texas jumped by 21 rigs to 358. The only other rig additions among the major producing states were in California, up 2 rigs with 21 working. Oklahoma was unchanged at 91, while Louisiana was down 3 rigs to 168. Wyoming lost 2 rigs with 43 still working. New Mexico and Alaska were down 1 rig each to 45 and 9, respectively.

ODS-Petrodata, Houston, reported mobile offshore rigs under contract in the Gulf of Mexico decreased by 2 to 126 this week, while the number available for work was down 1 to 189. That dropped rig utilization to 66.7% in those waters.

European activity was unchanged, with 84 rigs contracted out of 103 available for 81.6% utilization.

Worldwide, the total number of mobile offshore rigs under contract remained unchanged at 529, officials said. But a new jack up rig without a contract was added to the world fleet, boosting it to 656. That lowered global utilization of offshore rigs to 80.6%

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