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

By Gao Lu

HOUSTON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The number of active drilling rigs in the United States increased by five to 378 rigs this week, down by 416 year on year, according to the weekly data released Friday by Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes.

These active drilling rigs included 289 oil rigs operating in the U.S. oil fields, up by two from the previous week; 88 gas drilling rigs, up by three from the previous week and one miscellaneous rig, unchanged from last week.

The 378 rigs included 359 land drilling rigs, up by five from the previous week; 16 offshore drilling rigs and three inland water drilling rigs, both unchanged from last week.

Of them, 22 are directional drilling rigs, 338 are horizontal drilling rigs and 18 are vertical drilling rigs.

During the week, the state of Texas added the most by six rigs, reaching 175 rigs in total.

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 become a major 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.

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