US drilling activity rises, but drops in Gulf of Mexico

Total US drilling activity continued to climb this week, although utilization of mobile offshore rigs declined in the Gulf of Mexico, industry analysts reported Friday. There were 1,270 rotary rigs working in the US, eight more than last week and up from 866 a year ago.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, June 1 -- Total US drilling activity continued to climb this week, although utilization of mobile offshore rigs declined in the Gulf of Mexico, industry analysts reported Friday.

There were 1,270 rotary rigs working in the US and its waters during the week, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc. That's 8 more than the previous week and up from 866 during the same period a year ago.

Of the rigs working in the US this week, 1,037 were drilling for natural gas, 231 for oil, and 2 were unclassified.

Oklahoma accounted for most of the growth, adding 7 rigs for a total of 158 drilling. The Texas rig count was up 3 to 504. New Mexico had 77 rigs making hole, 2 more than the previous week, while the Wyoming rig count increased by 1 to 58.

However, Louisiana's rig count was down 5 to 223.

In Canada, there were 291 rotary rigs working this week. That's 28 more than the previous week and up from 270 a year ago.

The ODS-Petrodata Group in Houston reported two mobile offshore rigs came off of drilling contracts in the Gulf of Mexico. The utilization rate dropped to 88.7%, with 189 rigs contracted out of a fleet of 213.

The utilization rate increased to 95.1% in European waters, however, with 1 more rig contracted. There are now 97 rigs under contract in those waters, out of 102 available.

Worldwide, total utilization among mobile offshore rigs dipped to 89.6%, with a 2-rig decline in the number contracted. ODS-Petrodata reported 1 new deepwater rig joined the fleet without a contract. Of the 651 mobile offshore rigs available around the globe, 583 are under contract, officials said.

Among offshore platform rigs, 248 are contracted out of the 310 marketed worldwide, for 80% utilization.

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