For the ninth consecutive week, the mobile offshore rig count declined in the Gulf of Mexico last week, as two more rigs were idled, according to Houston-based ODS-Petrodata Group. However, the total number of rotary rigs operating in the United States and offshore remained unchanged at 1,141, up from 1,045 for the same period a year ago, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

Last week’s U.S. rig count was 933 drilling for natural gas, three fewer than a week earlier. The oil rig count increased by three to 208, according to Baker Hughes. Of the active rigs, 285 were doing directional drilling, six more than a week earlier, and 77 were drilling horizontal rigs, down six from the previous week.

Texas’ rig count stood at 447 last week, three down from the previous week, while Louisiana’s fell by four and stood at 197. In Oklahoma, two more rigs were reported working last week, which sent its rig count to 124. In New Mexico, the rig count also was up, rising four to stand at 68, while Wyoming’s 60-rig count remained unchanged.

In Canada, Baker Hughes reported 311 rotary rigs operating last week, five less than a week earlier and down from 338 for the same period a year earlier.

Among the 209 mobile offshore rigs operating in the Gulf, the utilization rate to 61.7%, down a point, with 129 units still under contract, according to ODS. However, ODS noted that the utilization rate remained unchanged at 95.1% for the fourth consecutive week in European waters, despite the addition of a recently commissioned new build semisubmersible rig. There were 98 mobile offshore rigs contracted out of an available fleet of 103 in Europe. Worldwide, the offshore rig utilization rate dipped to 81.8%, with a net decline of one contracted rig last week, leaving 534 rigs under contract out of 653 available for work.

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