US drilling continues downward spiral

US drilling activity continued to fall, down 57 rotary rigs to 1,243 still working this week, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 27 -- US drilling activity continued to fall, down 57 rotary rigs to 1,243 still working this week, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

That compares with 1,763 rigs drilling during the same period a year ago. The count has dropped 380 rigs since the start of 2009 and is now at the lowest point since Jan. 7, 2005, when 1,242 rigs were working.

Land rigs fell by 55 to 1,186 drilling this week. Offshore drilling was down 2 rigs to 51 in the Gulf of Mexico, out of a total 52 in US waters. Inland-waters activity was unchanged with 5 rigs working.

Of the rigs still on the job, 970 are drilling for natural gas, down by 48. There were 260 rigs drilling for oil, 9 fewer than the previous week, while 13 were unclassified. Horizontal drilling was down 21 to 454 rigs. Directional drilling lost 6 units to 238.

Texas led the loss among major producing states, down 26 rigs to 538 working. Oklahoma dropped 10 to 120. Louisiana, Colorado, and New Mexico each lost 7 rigs for respective counts of 144, 62, and 39. North Dakota's rig count was down 4 to 58. Wyoming lost 2 to 49, while California was unchanged at 24. Arkansas increased by 1 to 50, and Alaska gained 4 to 11.

In other areas of interest, Utah and Pennsylvania increased by 1 rig each to 26 and 25 respectively. West Virginia was unchanged at 25.

Canada's rig count was down 7 rigs to 394 still working, compared with 632 units operating during the same period a year ago.

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