Gulf of Mexico rig utilization falls for sixth consecutive week

Offshore rig utilization in the US waters of the Gulf of Mexico fell for the sixth consecutive week, officials at ODS-Petrodata Group, Houston, reported Friday. Total US drilling declined slightly, primarily on the landside, said Baker Hughes Inc. officials in Houston.

By the OGJ Online Staff


HOUSTON, Sept. 21 -- Offshore rig utilization in the US waters of the Gulf of Mexico fell for the sixth consecutive week, officials at ODS-Petrodata Group, Houston, reported Friday.

Four more mobile offshore rigs came off contracts without new jobs in the gulf waters while one more rig was added to that market, officials said. That dropped the utilization rate more than 2 points to 65.9%, with 139 mobile offshore rigs now under contract out of the 211 available in those waters.

Total US drilling declined slightly, primarily on the landside, said Baker Hughes Inc. officials in Houston.

They reported 1,186 rotary rigs were drilling in the US and its waters this week. That's 16 less than the previous week but up from 998 a year ago.

Baker Hughes, which tallies only rigs that are in the process of drilling at some point during the week, said the number of rigs actually working in the gulf increased by 2 to 137 this week. But the number of active land rigs was down 15 to 1,019, officials said.

Of those rigs working, 962 were drilling for natural gas this week, down 19 from last week. The number of rigs drilling for oil increased by 3 to 223, and 1 was unclassified.

Among those working rigs, 288 were drilling directional wells, 2 less than last week; and 86 were drilling horizontal wells, 1 less than previously.

Oklahoma led the decline, losing 7 rigs with 127 still drilling. Texas' rig count was down 2 to 467. Louisiana and Wyoming were down 1 each to 211 and 64 respectively. New Mexico was unchanged, with 69 rigs working.

Canada's weekly rig count also was unchanged at 318, down from 355 a year ago.

The utilization rate among mobile offshore rigs in European waters also was unchanged this week at 95.1% with 97 contracted out of a fleet of 102, said ODS-Petrodata officials.

Worldwide, they reported a net decline of 6 rigs this week. That left 543 mobile offshore rigs under contract out of a total fleet of 652, for a global utilization rate of 83.3%

More in Drilling & Production