North American rig fleet gains while activity level drops ///

The U.S. rig fleet experienced a year of turnarounds in 2013. According to the 60th annual NOV Rig Census, the U.S. available fleet made a U-turn, when it climbed this year after shrinking during 2012. Activity levels also went in the opposite direction; this time, however, falling back to the level seen two years ago. When rig counts were examined for the census in the early summer this year, commodity prices had not risen enough to maintain the drilling momentum experienced in the U.S. during 2012. The gap between available and active rigs widened this year, pushing down rig utilization for 2013 and showing a weakening market.

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