API: US drilling in 2010 above '09 levels, but below '08

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 13 -- US oil and gas drilling during 2010 increased 12% from 2009, but remained below 2008 levels, the American Petroleum Institute said. An estimated 37,892 wells were drilled in the US last year, API said in its latest quarterly well-completion report.

API estimated 10,487 oil wells, natural gas wells, and dry holes were drilled during 2010’s fourth quarter, 37% more than in the comparable period a year earlier but also below levels reached during 2008’s final 3 months.

Its latest estimates show a resurgence of oil-well completions that began a few years ago continued with an estimated 5,715 wells drilled in the fourth quarter, 65% more than in 2009’s last 3 months. Gas was the primary target for most of the decade, but fell behind oil in 2010 for the first time since 1995 with 14,324 wells drilled, compared with 19,451 oil well completions.

API also reported total estimated footage this past quarter reached 69,165,000 ft, 45% higher year-to-year.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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