US drilling hits new 22-year high

The US rig count this week topped 1,900 working units for the first time in more than 22 years.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 13 -- The US rig count this week topped 1,900 working units for the first time in more than 22 years.

Baker Hughes Inc. reported 1,901 rotary rigs drilling this week in the US, 15 more than the previous week and up from 1,773 during the same period a year ago. The last time the rig count surpassed that level was during the week ended Jan. 3, 1986, when 1,915 units were working.

As usual, land operations accounted for the bulk of the increase, up 15 rigs to 1,808 drilling. Offshore drilling increased by 4 rigs to 68 in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a net increase of 2 rigs to 68 on all offshore federal leases. Inland waters activity was down 2 rigs to 25.

Among the rigs now working, 1,504 are drilling for natural gas, 389 are drilling for crude, and 8 are unclassified. Directional drilling increased by 10 rigs to 380. Horizontal drilling declined by 1 rig to 547.

Oklahoma and Wyoming registered the biggest increases among major producing states, up 6 each to 207 and 68, respectively. New Mexico increased by 5 to 79 units, and Louisiana was up 2 to 162. This was offset by the loss of 6 rigs to 100 working in Colorado. Texas was down by 2 units to 929 making hole this week. California and Alaska each lost 1 rig, down to 42 and 7, respectively.

Canada's rig count increased by 12 rotary rigs to 230 working, down from 251 in the same period last year.

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