U.S. Offshore Rig Count Hits 17-Month High

Monday, December 06, 1999
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico rig count stands at 150 this week, its highest level since July of 1998. According to Offshore Data Services' weekly mobile offshore rig count, 150 of the 191 offshore rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are under contract this week. U.S. Gulf mobile offshore rig utilization is 78.5 percent. The improved rig count has been driven primarily by strong domestic natural gas prices, however, natural gas prices have weakened in recent weeks, and this may impact rig demand in the region. The European offshore rig count posted a one-rig increase over last week. This week, 74 of the 107 mobile offshore drilling rigs in the area are under contract. European offshore rig utilization is 69.2 percent. Worldwide, 479 of 632 mobile offshore drilling units are under contract this week, a net three-rig increase over last week's count. Worldwide offshore rig fleet utilization is 75.8 percent.
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