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

By Gao Lu

HOUSTON, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The number of active drilling rigs in the United States increased by three to 323 rigs this week, down by 476 year on year, according to the weekly data released Friday by Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes.

These active drilling rigs included 246 oil rigs operating in the U.S. oil fields, up by three from the previous week; 75 gas drilling rigs, down by two from the previous week; and two miscellaneous rigs, down by one from last week.

The 323 rigs included 308 land drilling rigs, up by two from the previous week; 13 offshore drilling rigs, up by one from the previous week; and two inland water drilling rig, same as last week.

Of them, 18 are directional drilling rigs, 289 are horizontal drilling rigs and 16 are vertical drilling rigs.

During the week, the state of Colorado, Texas and West Virginia each added two rigs, reaching seven, 149 and nine rigs respectively.

By far, the Permian Basin in western Texas and eastern New Mexico has been the largest source of shale oil production growth in the United States, having become an engine of supply growth outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the past years.

The United States has been a world important oil producer in the past years with the help of its shale oil production growth. Meanwhile, China continues to be one of the biggest oil consumers of the world.

According to the latest release from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, China's crude oil output edged up 1.4 percent year on year to 16.41 million tonnes in October, retreating from an increase of 2.4 percent registered in September. China imported 42.56 million tonnes of crude oil in October, down 6.5 percent year on year.

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