Number-crunching of the latest data from GE’s oil services arm Baker Hughes indicates that the number of active drilling rigs targeting oil in the Middle East rose 14 to an average of 421 for 2019, the highest ever annual figure and some 35 more than five years earlier (see table)

Abu Dhabi’s rig count increased by seven, to 60, an all-time high. October was the stand-out month, with 68 overall rigs, with 64 targeting oil. State oil firm Adnoc has made no secret of its expansion plans (MEES, 17 January). It plans to spend a whopping $15bn over the next three years on drilling procurements (MEES, 23 August 2019). (CONTINUED - 626 WORDS)