Offshore rig utilization at 3-year high in US Gulf of Mexico

More than 90% of the mobile offshore rigs in the US Gulf of Mexico were under contract this week for the first time since July 1998, said officials at ODS-Petrodata Group in Houston. Total US drilling dipped slightly with 1,212 rotary rigs working this week, one less than the previous week but up from 798 during the same period a year ago.


By the OGJ Online Staff


HOUSTON, Apr. 27 -- More than 90% of the mobile offshore rigs in the US Gulf of Mexico were under contract this week for the first time since July 1998, officials at ODS-Petrodata Group in Houston said Friday.

They reported a net increase of 2 mobile offshore rigs under contract in the gulf, pushing the utilization rate to 90.5% with 191 rigs contracted out of the 211 available in those waters.

Worldwide, ODS-Petrodata reported a net gain of three rigs under contract, raising total utilization to 90.1%, with 585 mobile offshore rigs contracted out of a total fleet of 649. That�s the first time total utilization has surpassed 90% since August 1998, officials said.

In European waters, utilization was unchanged at 93.1% for the third consecutive week, with 94 mobile offshore rigs contracted out of 101 available.

Total US drilling activity dipped slightly with 1,212 rotary rigs working this week, 1 less than the previous week but up from 798 during the same period a year ago, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc. in Houston.

Of the US rigs working this week, 975 were drilling for natural gas, 235 for oil, and 2 were unclassified.

Texas had 484 rigs making hole, 3 less than last week. Oklahoma�s rig count also was down by 3 to 140 total, while New Mexico was down 1 to 81.

Louisiana had 229 rigs working, up 4. Wyoming�s rig count was up 2 to 52, while California added 1 for a total of 40.

There were 188 rotary rigs drilling in Canada this week, the same number as the previous week but up from 126 last year.

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