Drilling/Production news briefs, July 26

Union Drilling acquires five rotary rigs; Petroleum Services Association of Canada forecasts rise in 2000 drilling activity.

Jul 26th, 2000

Union Drilling Inc. (UDI), Bridgeville, Pa., has acquired five rotary rigs and related equipment from three companies in three separate transactions for undisclosed amounts. The acquisitions are part of Union Drilling's plan to focus on deeper and more-sophisticated drilling to service its customers' deep drilling needs in the Appalachian basin, said Chris Strong, chief executive of UDI. Union acquired three rigs from SW Jack Drilling Co., Indiana, Pa; one rig from Ackerman International Corp., Mount Carmel, Ill.; and another rig from National Oil Well Inc., Houston.

Natural gas will be the primary target this year for drillers in Western Canada, says the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) in its midyear forecast. PSAC says about 15,529 wells will be drilled in 2000, 60% of them gas projects. The association forecasts 4,090 oil wells, 9,185 gas wells, 2,014 dry holes, and 240 service wells will be drilled. That amount of drilling activity is expected to generate $7.4 billion (Can.) in revenues in 2000 for oil field service and manufacturing companies. PSAC estimates 11,095 wells will be drilled in Alberta this year, up 200% from 1999; 900 in British Columbia, up 64%; and 3,490 wells in Saskatchewan, up 225%. The forecast of 15,529 wells compares with 10,605 wells drilled in 1999. The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors has forecast a slightly higher drilling total of 16,500 wells this year.

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