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New leap for offshore rig count

Latest monthly rig count from Baker Hughes shows uptick on last year as North America onshore tally falls

The number of offshore rigs working worldwide last month rose significantly on last year, with the biggest increases coming in Europe and the Americas, according to GE subsidiary Baker Hughes’ latest rig count.

The tally of 273 rigs was up from 232 in August last year as oil companies ratchet up spending both on exploration to generate discoveries for reserves replacement as well as drilling in connection with field development work.

Europe has seen the largest rise with 51 rigs operating last month, compared with 32 a year ago, while the US total increased by seven to 26 units and six rigs were added in Latin America to boost the figure to 30 units.

Further increases in rig activity were seen in Asia Pacific, where the tally increased by 4 to 92, as well as smaller rises in Africa, the Middle East and North America.

However, the overall figure for offshore rigs was down on the previous month’s 283 as there were month-on-month decreases across all regions, with the exception of North America.

The number of onshore rigs working in the US continued to fall to 900 in August, down from 930 the previous month and 1031 a year ago.

While Canada deployed an additional 21 onshore rigs compared with the previous month to boost the August tally to 139, this was still down on 219 rigs working a year earlier.

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