US drilling rig count at 23-year high

US drilling continued to climb, up by 8 rotary rigs to 1,921 working this week, said Baker Hughes Inc. on July 2.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 2 -- US drilling continued to climb, up by 8 rotary rigs to 1,921 working this week, said Baker Hughes Inc. on July 2.

That's the largest number of rigs drilling in the US and its waters since late December 1985, when 1,995 units were working. It compares with 1,752 rigs at work in this same period in 2007.

As usual, land operations accounted for the weekly increase, up by 9 rigs to 1,836 drilling. Inland waters were unchanged with 22 rigs working. Offshore activity declined by 1 to 63 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the only waters in which federal leases are being drilled.

Of the rigs working, 373 were drilling for oil, down 2 from the previous week. There were 1,539 rigs drilling for natural gas, 9 more than the previous week, and 9 units were unclassified. Horizontal drilling decreased by 9 to 555. Directional drilling increased by 7 to 387.

Among major producing states, Oklahoma reported the largest increase in activity, up 9 rigs to 209 working. Texas increased by 8 to 923, and New Mexico was up 1 to 81. Rig counts in Wyoming and California were unchanged at 76 and 43, respectively. Louisiana, Colorado, and Alaska were down 2 rigs each to 176, 111, and 4 respectively.

Canada's rig count jumped by 32 to 388 this week. That's up from 286 in the same period last year.

Baker Hughes reported the rig count early this week because of the US Independence holiday on July 4.

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