API: Third quarter US completions up 16% over 2007

US oil and gas drilling continued to outpace year-ago activity during the third quarter and is nearly twice the levels seen during the 1990s, the American Petroleum Institute said Oct. 10.

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 10 -- US oil and gas drilling continued to outpace year-ago activity during the third quarter and is nearly twice the levels seen during the 1990s, the American Petroleum Institute said Oct. 10.

During the 3 months ended Sept. 30, an estimated 16,379 oil wells, natural gas wells, and dry holes were completed—16% more than the comparable 2007 period, API said in its latest quarterly well completion report.

It said the estimates show that the resurgence in US oil well drilling that began in 2000 has continued during 2008. An estimated 6,244 oil wells were completed this past quarter, 34% more than in 2007's third quarter and the highest third-quarter domestic oil activity estimate in more than 2 decades, API indicated.

Gas continued to be the primary domestic drilling target. An estimated 8,467 wells were completed during the third quarter, 6% more than in the same period a year earlier and more than double the number 10 years ago, it continued.

Estimated exploratory well completions increased 8% year-to-year, while the estimated number of development wells drilled climbed 17% year-to-year, largely because of a 36% surge in oil development wells from 2007's third quarter, according to API.

Total estimated footage drilled during the most recent 3-month period grew 26% year-to-year to a third-quarter record of 107,631,000 ft as estimated oil well footage rose 40% year-to-year, the agency said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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