HOUSTON, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The number of active drilling rigs in the United States decreased by three to 1,022 this week, but still 14 rigs more than this time last year, according to the weekly data released by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday.
The number of rigs operating in the U.S. oil fields grew by two to 833 this week, and more than half of them were located in the Permian Basin region of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The number of gas drilling rigs decreased by five to 189, and the number of miscellaneous drilling rigs remained at zero.
The Houston-based oilfield services company reported that the number of land drilling rigs decreased by four to 996. The number of inland waters drilling rigs remained level at three, and the number of offshore drilling rigs increased by one to 23.
The number of directional drilling rigs increased by eight to 78 rigs, the number of horizontal drilling rigs decreased by 12 to 889 rigs, and the number of vertical drilling rigs increased by one to 55 rigs.
The U.S. state of Texas led the gains with three rigs and increased to 502 rigs. Kansas and Ohio both increased by one rig.
Drilling activity and newly-added wells are crucial to maintain as well as increase crude oil production in the United States.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude oil production last week stayed the same as the last week at 12.2 million barrels per day (b/d), up by about 1.7 million b/d year-on-year.
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday, the EIA estimated that U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.1 million b/d in March, up 300,000 b/d from the February average.
The EIA also forecasted that U.S. crude oil production will average 12.4 million b/d in 2019 and 13.1 million b/d in 2020, with most of the growth coming from the Permian Region of Texas and New Mexico.