Baker Hughes: Rig count up worldwide

Despite general service industry complaints that producers have been slow to fund projects in the wake of higher energy prices, worldwide drilling activity in June was up 10% from May and a whopping 37% from year-ago levels, officials at Baker Hughes Inc. reported Monday.


HOUSTON�Despite general service industry complaints that producers have been slow to fund projects in the wake of higher energy prices, worldwide drilling activity in June was up 10% from May and a whopping 37% from year-ago levels, officials at Baker Hughes Inc. reported Monday.

Much of that increase was in North America. Other international drilling markets were up 5% for the month and 9% from last year.

"We're just starting to see the international markets pick up, but at least it's moving in the right direction," said Baker Hughes spokesman Gary Flaharty.

"We should be adding more rigs over the next 3 or 4 months," he told OGJ Online.

There were an average 878 rigs working in the US during June, up from 844 in May and 558 in June 1999. Most of the increased activity was onshore, with 739 land rigs working in the US last month, up from 706 in May and 458 last year.

The average number of Canadian rigs jumped to 291 last month, up sharply from 189 in May and 187 in 1999.

In other international markets in June, there were an average 657 rigs working, 30 more than in May and up 55 from the same period last year. That included 192 offshore rigs working in international waters, up from 166 in May but down from 200 a year ago.

Europe showed a major increase, with an average 90 rigs working during June, including 55 offshore. That compares with 76 total rigs, 38 offshore, in May and 94 total, 49 offshore, a year ago, said Baker Hughes officials.

Total Latin American activity also was up, with an average 225 rigs working in June, compared with 215 in May and 187 in June 1999. But offshore activity varied, with an average 35 marine rigs working Latin American waters in June, 2 more than in May but 9 fewer than a year ago.

Month-to-month activity was fairly static in the Asia Pacific area, with an average 137 total rigs�56 marine�working last month, up from 134 total and 53 marine in May. But it's down from the 144 average rigs, including 71 offshore, that were working in that area a year ago.

The Middle East also was stable, with 159 total rigs, 24 marine, in June compared with 156 total, 21 marine, in May and 137 total, 20 marine, a year ago.

Africa had an average 46 rigs working in June, including 22 marine. In May, there were the same 46 total rigs, but 1 fewer marine rig. A year ago, Africa's total average was 40, with 16 offshore.

More in Economics & Markets