Idling trend for N. American rigs continues

The number of rotary rigs drilling in North America continued to slide the week ended Jan. 2, with 98 units—all onshore rigs— retiring in the US to 1,623 working, according to Baker Hughes, Houston. The number of rigs drilling in US waters remained unchanged, with 68 working offshore and 8 in inland water.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Jan. 2 -- The number of rotary rigs drilling in North America continued to slide the week ended Jan. 2, with 98 units—all onshore rigs— retiring in the US to 1,623 working, according to Baker Hughes, Houston. The number of rigs drilling in US waters remained unchanged, with 68 working offshore and 8 in inland water.

Canada's rig numbers dropped by 49 to 230 making hole.

Last year at this same time, when West Texas Intermediate and New York Mercantile Exchange light, sweet crudes were hovering at just above $99/bbl, the US had 1,774 rigs working, 151 more than this week when oil prices wallowed at less than half that amount. Canada's 319 rigs working last year represent 89 more than this week.

Most of the US losses were in Texas, which retired 54 units to 747 working. North Dakota lost 7, down to 73, and Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, idled 5 each. Colorado now has 93 rigs drilling; New Mexico 60; and Wyoming 67. Louisiana employed four more rigs to 177 drilling, and Alaska added a unit to 13 working. Arkansas lost 3 to 50, and California idled 1 to 36 working. Oklahoma, at 159 rigs, remained unchanged.

Of the units going into downtime, 80 rigs had been drilling for gas and 18 for oil. Mothballed rigs included 57 that had been drilling vertical wells; 27 drilling horizontal wells, and 14 directionally drilled wells.


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