Total US drilling activity increases as offshore utilization slumps

US drilling activity continued to climb, but after 11 consecutive weeks of improvements, the utilization rate among mobile offshore rigs declined, industry analysts reported Friday. There were 1,232 rotary rigs drilling in the US this week, 15 more than the previous week and up from 830 a year ago.

May 11th, 2001


By the OGJ Online Staff


HOUSTON, May 11 -- US drilling activity continued to climb, but after 11 consecutive weeks of improvements, the utilization rate among mobile offshore rigs declined, industry analysts reported Friday.

There were 1,232 rotary rigs drilling in the US and its waters this week, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc., Houston. That's 15 more than the previous week and up strongly from 830 a year ago in this period.

Of the rigs working in the US, 994 were drilling for natural gas, 236 were drilling for oil, and two were unclassified.

Texas led the activity with 501 rotary rigs working, seven more than the previous week. Oklahoma's rig count was up five to 145 this week, while New Mexico was unchanged at 70.

Louisiana's rig count was down three to 232, and Wyoming had 51 rotary rigs working, down four from the previous week.

Canada had 228 rotary rigs turning to the right, 18 more than the previous week and up from 194 last year.

The ODS-Petrodata Group in Houston reported a net increase of one mobile offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico fleet and a net decrease of one rig under contract. That caused the utilization rate among offshore rigs in those waters to dip to 90.1%, with 191 rigs under contract out of the 212 available.

The European fleet also increased by one rig, pushing down utilization to 93.1% with 95 mobile offshore units contracted out of the 102 offered for work.

Worldwide, the net result was three rigs that came off contracts this week. Total utilization of mobile offshore rigs dropped to 90%, with 548 units under contract out of 649 available.

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