Baker Hughes Inc. said there were 9,175 active wells onshore during the third quarter of the year. That's 2 percent higher than the second quarter but 3 percent lower than the same time last year.
"Due to improved drilling efficiencies, the average U.S. onshore drilling rig is now producing 2 percent more wells, compared to only three months ago," the company said in a statement.
Baker Hughes said most of the increase in activity was in shale reserve areas. The Williston basin spread out over eastern Montana and the western Dakotas saw a rig count increase of 8 percent from the second quarter. Williston production areas include the lucrative Three Forks and Bakken formations in North Dakota.
New drilling technologies for shale oil and natural gas deposits helped push North America to the top of the list in terms of global producers.
The Energy Information Administration, the analytical division of the U.S. Energy Department, said in a market report Tuesday it expected U.S. crude oil production to increase from the 2012 average of 6.5 million barrels per day to 8.5 million by next year.
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