HOUSTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Oil services company Baker Hughes said Thursday there were more rigs actively exploring for oil or gas in the United States than any place else in the world.
Baker Hughes published its monthly rig count for July. It shows 1,819 rigs active in the United States, compared with the 1,394 rigs combined for Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
The closest rival to the United States for July was the Middle East with 378.
Rig counts are an indication of the number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas.
Onshore shale oil and natural gas basins are contributed to the increase in U.S. production in part due to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the controversial practice dubbed fracking.
The United States is on pace to become a world leader in oil and gas production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its market report for July said oil production should average 8.5 million barrels per day for 2014, nearly a 15 percent increase from last year.
Natural gas production increases at a similar rate, EIA said.