Saudi Arabia: Rigcount Hits Record 101 For May 2014

• Saudi Arabia’s 101 active drilling rigs is the highest number since the start of Baker Hughes records in 1982. Much of the increased activity is due to a sharper focus on offshore exploration, where Saudi Aramco is drilling in the deep waters of the Red Sea. Offshore oil drilling also reflects the massive Manifa heavy oil field development, which is due to reach full capacity of 900,000 b/d at the end of this year and is one of the single largest developments ever undertaken by Aramco.

• Saudi Aramco said in its 2013 annual report that it had embarked on its largest exploration program in its history. The state-owned oil giant said it completed 29 oil exploration wells last year, 21 conventional gas exploration wells, 29 unconventional gas exploration wells, 216 oil development wells and 66 gas development wells last year. It also completed workovers on 202 oil wells, 24 gas wells and 50 water wells. The rise in drilling activity since early 2011 coincides with relatively stable oil prices that have remained largely above $100/B. (CONTINUED - 164 WORDS)