United States: U.S. rotary rigs ///

By almost any measure, 2003 was a good year to be in the drilling business, and it's ending on a high note, with 2004 set to go even higher. The year began with 845 rigs and ended with 1,126a – 33% increase – in stark contrast to 2002's remarkably flat levels. Except for 2001, this is the highest average number of US rigs running since 1985. As the yearly curves show, the buildup in 2003 was relentless, without any backsliding. Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Texas gained the most activity (in terms of rig count), adding a collective 193 rigs on average, without a significant reduction in any state. Oil prices, of course, get the credit for this considerable rise in rigs.

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