The trend toward increased drilling for crude oil, which was first noticed a year ago, has continued throughout the second quarter, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported Friday.
An estimated 6,595 oil wells were completed in the second quarter, up 32% from the 4,982 oil wells completed in the same period a year ago, according to API, which represents major oil producers. Natural gas well completions rose by 17 wells from a year ago to 3,477 in the second quarter. Dry well completions fell 26% to 867 in the second quarter from 1,171 in the comparable period a year ago.
The gap between oil well completions and gas well completions has widened since the first quarter, when the API reported that oil well completions outnumbered gas well completions by 5,718 to 3,860 (see Daily GPI, April 18).
API estimated that overall drilling activity in the second quarter -- 10,939 oil wells, gas wells and dry holes -- was up 14% from 2010's second quarter and up 46% from 2009's second quarter. The level of overall drilling has increased by about 5% over the 10,431 oil and gas wells and dry holes that were completed in the first quarter.
The producer group further reported that a total of an estimated 83 million feet was drilled in the second quarter.
In the second quarter of 2010, API first reported that natural gas, which had held the lead in drilling for most of the decade, began to lag behind oil (see Daily GPI, July 15, 2010). At the time, the producer group said oil well completions topped gas well completions by 4,847 to 4,396.
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