Portblayer, Florida (PressExposure) July 13, 2011 -- Oil Rig Count Tops 1000
In its weekly release, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported a rise in the U.S. rig count number of rigs searching for oil and gas in the country. This can be primarily attributed to an increase in the tally of oil rigs.
The Baker Hughes rig count, issued since 1944, acts as an important yardstick for drilling contractors such as, Diamond Offshore , Noble Corp. Nabors Industries , Patterson-UTI Energy and Helmerich & Payne in gauging the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry.
Rigs engaged in exploration and production in the U.S. totaled 1,882 for the week ended June 24, 2011. This is up by 22 from the previous week's rig count and represents the highest level since November 21, 2008.
The current nationwide rig count is more than double that of the 6-year low of 876 (set in the week ended June 12, 2009) and significantly exceeds the prior-year level of 1,552. It rose to a 22-year high in 2008, peaking at 2,031 in the weeks ending August 29 and September 12.
Rigs engaged in land operations climbed by 25 to 1,833, offshore drilling decreased by 2 to 33, while inland waters activity was down by 1 at 16 rigs.
Natural Gas Rig Count
The natural gas [http://www.oilgasinvesting101.com] rig count, which slid to a 16-month low of 866 last month, increased for the first time in 3 weeks to 873 (a gain of 3 rigs from the previous week). Despite the weekly improvement, the number of gas-directed rigs is down nearly 13% from its 2010 peak of 992, reached during mid-August.
The current natural gas rig count remains 46% below its all-time high of 1,606 reached way back in late summer 2008, but has rebounded strongly after bottoming out to a 7-year low of 665 on July 17, 2009. In the year-ago period, there were 958 active natural gas rigs.
Oil Rig Count
The oil rig count was up by 19 to 1,003. The current tally - the highest in 23 years - is considerably more than the previous year's rig count of 583. It has recovered strongly from a low of 179 in June 2009, rising more than 5 times.
Miscellaneous Rig Count
The miscellaneous rig count (primarily drilling for geothermal energy), at 6, remained steady from the previous week.
Rig Count by Type
The number of vertical drilling rigs rose by 7 to 565, while the horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology that has the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) was up by 15 at 1,317. In particular, horizontal rig units rose by 20 in the latest week to hit a new all-time high of 1,081.