COLUMN-OPEC must prepare for big rise in oil supplies: Kemp

Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:17am EDT
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By John Kemp

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - High oil and gas prices have unleashed the biggest drilling boom in 30 years.

OPEC members must prepare for a big increase in oil supplies in the second half of the decade, as well as heightened competition from natural gas in some of their core markets, and a further erosion in demand as conservation and efficiency measures bite harder.

Outside North America, the number of rigs actually drilling for oil and gas averaged 1,277 in January and February, the highest since 1983, and more than double the number operating in 1999, according to rig counts published by oil field services company Baker Hughes International on its website.

Baker Hughes probably understates the growth in worldwide drilling since it excludes rigs operating in Russia, the Caspian, Iran, Sudan and onshore China. It only counts rigs actually drilling, not those in transit, moving in and rigging up, or engaged in production testing, completions and well workovers.


Baker Hughes rig count:   Continued...