API: US drilling at 22-year peak in third quarter

US oil and gas drilling was at its highest level in 22 years during the third quarter, the American Petroleum Institute said in its latest quarterly well completion report on Oct 22.

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 22 -- US oil and gas drilling was at its highest level in 22 years during the third quarter, the American Petroleum Institute said in its latest quarterly well completion report on Oct 22.

An estimated 13,543 oil wells, natural gas wells, and dry holes were completed during the 3-month period, 4% more than the 13,047 completions a year earlier, API said.

Gas continued to be the primary target, with an estimated 7,628 wells completed, a third-quarter record, and 1% more than the 7,554 wells drilled in the comparable 2006 period, it said.

A resurgence in oil-well activity, which began at the start of the decade, continued with an estimated 4,544 completions, also a third-quarter record, according to API. The total represented a 6% increase from the 4,277 oil wells completed during third quarter 2006, it said.

It said estimated exploratory completions rose 21% year-to-year as gas well completions climbed 47%. Estimated development completions were largely unchanged from the comparable 2006 period.

Total estimated footage drilled reached 81,009,000 during this year's third quarter, 9% more than the 74,035,000 ft drilled a year earlier and the highest third-quarter estimate in more than 2 decades, API said.

Copies of the full quarterly well completion report are available by subscription from API.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

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