U.S. rig count increased in December

Jan. 9, 2014 at 6:59 AM

HOUSTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Oil service company Baker Hughes Inc. said the number of active drilling rigs working in the United States in December was up 15 from the previous month.

Baker Hughes said in its monthly report on rig activity there were 1,771 rigs working in the United States. That's an increase of 15 from November but down 13 from December 2012.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, a division of the Energy Department, said in a short-term market report Tuesday total U.S. crude oil production in 2013 averaged 7.5 million barrels per day, a 1 million bpd increase from the previous year.

In 2014, the United States should produce 8.5 million bpd. The 9.5 million bpd expected in 2015 would break a record set in 1972, EIA said.

New drilling technologies used in shale formations in the United States are credited with the increase in oil production.

Internationally, Baker Hughes said Wednesday it counted 1,335 rigs in December, up 24 from November and up 82 from the same time last year. The international offshore rig count was 306, down 10 from November and up 7 from the number counted in December 2012.

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