By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Oct. 12 -- The number of mobile offshore rigs under contract in the Gulf of Mexico fell for the ninth consecutive week with two more units idled, officials at ODS-Petrodata Group, Houston, said Friday.
But the total number of rotary rigs actually drilling in the US and its waters was unchanged at 1,141, still up from 1,045 during the same period a year ago, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc.
Of all the US rigs working this week, 933 were drilling for natural gas, three fewer than last week. But the number drilling for oil increased by three to 208, Baker Hughes reported.
Among those active rigs, 285 were doing directional drilling, six more than last week, while 77 were drilling horizontal wells, down six from the previous week.
Texas had 447 rotary rigs working this week, three fewer than the previous week, while Louisiana's rig count totaled 197, down four.
Oklahoma had two more rigs working this week, boosting its count to 124. New Mexico was up four to 68, while Wyoming was unchanged with 60 rigs working.
There were 311 rotary rigs working in Canada this week, five fewer than the previous week and down from 338 a year ago, said Baker Hughes officials.
The utilization rate among the 209 mobile offshore rigs deployed in the gulf fell a full point to 61.7% with 129 units still under contract, said Tom Marsh, who tracks that activity for ODS-Petrodata.
However, utilization remained unchanged at 95.1% for the fourth consecutive week in European waters, despite the addition of a recently commissioned new build semisubmersible rig. That area has 98 mobile offshore rigs contracted out of an available fleet of 103.
Worldwide offshore rig utilization slipped slightly to 81.8% with a net decline of one contracted rig for the week, leaving 534 units under contract out of the 653 available for work.