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DRILLING ACTIVITY AROUND THE U.S. DECLINED LAST WEEK, POLLS SHOW

Domestic drilling activity declined last week while offshore drilling activity improved worldwide, two industry surveys showed Monday.

Baker Hughes Inc. reported 687 rotary rigs drilled in the United States as of Friday, 19 fewer than the previous week and down from 758 a year ago.Of the rigs working last week, 325 drilled for oil, 346 for natural gas and 16 were unclassified.

Meanwhile, Offshore Data Services said marine drilling activity increased in most areas of the world. Two more mobile offshore rigs were under contract in the Gulf of Mexico last week, making a total of 80 rigs under contract.

The number of rigs with contracts in the gulf was the largest since late January out of a fleet of 151 for a utilization rate of 53 percent.

One more rig also was under contract in European waters, boosting the utilization rate to 81.9 percent with 113 rigs working out of a fleet of 138.

Worldwide, the utilization rate among mobile offshore rigs reached 75.4 percent, the highest level since mid-April.

Baker Hughes reported 234 rotary rigs working in Texas last week, 13 fewer than the previous week.

Rig counts in neighboring states included: Louisiana, 75, two fewer than the previous week; New Mexico, 28, three fewer than last week; Oklahoma, 90, 14 fewer than last week.