International Drill Rig Count Rises in January

Offshore drill rig
Offshore drill rig

Oil field services company Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) today reported that its count of foreign oil & gas drilling rigs rose slightly from 1,253 in December to 1,279 in January. Adding in Canadian and U.S. rigs, the total global count is 3,539, still well below February 2012's 3,900 total count, which was the highest in more than two years.

Month over month the largest increase came in Saudi Arabia, up from 78 rigs in December to 87 in January. The largest decrease came in Indonesia, down from 43 in December to 39 in January.

Among the foreign rig count, the Middle East showed the largest gain, with 13 more rigs in January. Of the remaining regions, only Africa managed to post an overall gain in January, from 102 in December to 115 rigs.

Land rigs outnumbered offshore rigs by about 3 to 1 in January, with 972 to 307. For 2012, foreign rig counts averaged a total of 1,234, up from an average of 1,167 in 2011. Including North American rigs, the global total increased from 3,465 in 2011 to 3,518 last year.

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