Oil & gas drilling hits 30 year high

Mar 05, 2014 12:00 AM

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes has announced that global drilling for oil & gas reserves has hit a thirty year high. The boom was driven by a large number of exploration projects in the Middle East and Africa.

A report stated that more than 1,300 drilling rigs have been operating on average over the last six months, the greatest number since 1983.

The number of rigs is up 20% compared with 2008 and has more than doubled since hitting a low point in 1999.

The boom is being led by the Middle East, where the number of rigs operating has tripled since 1999, and Africa, where the rig count is up almost four times.

Rig counts reported by Baker Hughes do not include onshore China, Russia, the Caspian and certain other countries.

According to the company, more than 400 onshore and offshore rigs were drilling in the Middle East in December and January, the greatest number since the 1970s.

Over the last six months, Iraq averaged more than 90, up from zero in 1999, when the country was still under U.N. sanctions.

Saudi Arabia also has more than 90, up from fewer than 20 in 1999.
Kuwait, too, is witnessing a drilling revolution, with more than 30 rigs, three times as many as at the turn of the century.

These figures could be about to taper off, however, as a number of large IOCs have recently announced plans to scale back exploration projects.

Statoil and Shell have both recently announced plans to sell off assets and reign in exploration projects as costs outpace oil and natural gas prices.

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