US drilling activity dips by 6 rigs to 843

US drilling activity fell again this week, down 6 rotary rigs with 843 still working, officials at Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Oct. 18 -- US drilling activity fell again this week, down 6 rotary rigs with 843 still working, officials at Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

There were 1,100 rotary rigs working during this same period a year ago, officials said.

This week's decline involved two of the three main divisions of the contract drilling industry. Land operations were down 7 rigs with 714 drilling, offshore drilling was down 1 rig to 108 in the US Gulf of Mexico and 111 for the US as a whole. Meanwhile, units working inland waters gained 2 to 18.

Canada's rig count slipped by 2 to 206, down from 303 rigs working during the same period last year.

In the US, there were 137 rigs drilling for oil, which was unchanged from the previous week. Drilling for natural gas was down 6 rigs to 703. There were 3 rigs unclassified. Directional drilling was up 4 rigs to 226; horizontal drilling was up 2 to 67.

Texas led the loss, down 9 rigs with 337 working, while Oklahoma's rig count was down by 2 to 91 and California lost 1 rig to 19. Louisiana's rig count, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 171.

New Mexico gained 4 rigs to 46, Alaska gained 2 rigs to 10, and Wyoming gained 1 rig to 45.

Demand for mobile offshore rigs increased in the US Gulf of Mexico, with 2 more units under contract, up to 128 this week, said officials at ODS-Petrodata, Houston. The fleet of available rigs was down 2 to 190, increasing the rig utilization rate in those waters nearly 2 points to 67.4%.

In European waters, the number of rigs under contract declined by 3 to 84 out of a fleet of 103, dropping rig utilization to 81.6%.

Worldwide, the number of contracted rigs increased by 2 to 529, while the total available fleet decreased by 1 to 655. Total mobile offshore rig utilization was 80.8% compared with 80.3% the previous week.

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