Number of U.S. active drilling rigs increases this week

The number of active drilling rigs in the United States increased by 19 to 1,025 this week, 22 rigs more than this time last year, according to the weekly data released by the Baker Hughes, a GE company, on Friday.

The number of rigs operating in the U.S. oil fields grew by 15 to 831 this week, and more than half of them were located in the Permian Basin region of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The number of gas drilling rigs increased by four to 194, and the number of miscellaneous drilling rigs remained at zero.

The Houston-based oilfield services company reported that the number of land drilling rigs increased by 19 to 1,000. The number of inland waters drilling rigs increased by one to three, and the number of offshore drilling rigs decreased by one to 22.

The number of directional drilling rigs increased by six to 70 rigs, the number of horizontal drilling rigs increased by 10 to 901 rigs, and the number of vertical drilling rigs increased by three to 54 rigs.

The U.S. state of Texas led the gains with eight rigs and increased to 499 rigs. The states of West Virginia and New Mexico also increased by four and three rigs, respectively.

Drilling activity and newly-added wells are crucial to maintain as well as increase crude oil production in the United States.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude oil production last week increased slightly to 12.2 million barrels per day, up by about 100,000 barrels per day year-on-year.

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA said that U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.9 million barrels per day in February, down slightly from the January average. EIA forecast that U.S. crude oil output will average 12.3 million barrels per day in 2019 and 13.0 million in 2020, with most of the growth coming from the Permian region in the states of Texas and New Mexico.