US well completions grew 16% year-to-year in third quarter, API says

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 on 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 on Oct. 10.

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

It said that the estimates show that the resurgence in US oil well drilling which 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 two decades, API indicated.

Natural gas continued to be the primary domestic drilling target as 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 during the most recent three-month period grew 26% year-to-year to a third-quarter record of 107,631,000 feet as estimated oil well footage rose 40% year-to-year, it said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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