Land drilling increases as offshore activity declines

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 11
-- Land drilling in the US increased this week although offshore activity slipped lower due to the federal moratorium against drilling in more than 500 ft of water following the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, said Baker Hughes Inc.

There were 1,527 rotary rigs working in the US and its waters this week, 21 more than the previous week and up from 876 during the comparable week in 2009.

US offshore drilling fell to 20 rotary rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, down 3 from the previous week when the count dropped by 23 units (OGJ Online, June 4, 2010). In US waters as a whole, only 21 offshore units were still working this week. Drilling in inland waters decreased by 1 to 12 units making hole. The only gain was in land drilling with an increase of 25 rigs to 1,494 active.

Of the US rigs still working, 954 were drilling for natural gas, 7 more than the previous week. The number drilling for oil increased by 16 to 561. There were 12 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling jumped by 21 units to 819. Directional drilling gained 4 to 230.

Among the major producing states, Texas had the biggest increase, up 16 to 662 rotary rigs working. Oklahoma’s rig count gained 7 to 128. West Virginia and Alaska increased by 2 rigs each to 24 and 9, respectively. Wyoming was up by 1 unit to 35 drilling. North Dakota and Arkansas were unchanged with respective counts of 113 and 40. Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California declined by 1 rotary rig each to 89, 51, and 33. New Mexico lost 3 to 64, and Louisiana was down 4 to 187 rigs still working.

Canada’s rotary rig count increased by 21 to 213 in the same week, compared with 108 in the same period last year.

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