N e w s S p o t l i g h t
Global oil and gas drilling outside North America in 2014
has reached its highest level in three decades, withOPEC
Member Countries leading the way.
According to the international oil field services com-
pany, Baker Hughes, the majority of the large explora-
tion and production programmes are centred around the
Middle East and Africa.
Quoted by
Reuters
, the firmdisclosed that more than
1,300drilling rigshavebeenoperational over the last half
year, which is the largest number since 1983.
It noted that the current number of rigs was 20 per
cent higher than in 2008 and has more than doubled
since 1999.
The Middle East is leading the heightened activity,
where the number of rigs operating now has tripled since
1999. InAfrica, the centre ofmuchactivity in recentyears,
the rig count is up almost four-fold since 1999.
Rigs in operation
Baker Hughes data shows that, in the Middle East alone,
more than 400 onshore and offshore rigs were engaged
in drilling operations in December and January, the larg-
est number since the 1970s.
Looking at OPECMember Countries in the region, the
report stated that, over the last six months, Saudi Arabia
had more than 90 rigs in operation, compared with less
than 20 rigs in 1999.
Kuwait,whichhasembarkedonaprogramme toboost
its oil production capacity over the next few years, was
seen to have more than 30 rigs in operation, three times
as many as at the turn of the century.
And Iraq, which is recovering strongly from years
of unrest and restrained oil production, has more than
Oil drilling hits
30-year high
amid busy licensing
round activity
24
OPEC bulletin
2–3/14
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