HOUSTON, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The number of active drilling rigs in the United States increased by nine to 296 rigs this week, down by 526 year on year, according to the weekly data released Friday by Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes.
These active drilling rigs included 221 oil rigs operating in the U.S. oil fields, up by ten from the previous week; 72 gas drilling rigs, down by one from the previous week; and three miscellaneous rigs, unchanged from last week.
The 296 rigs included 282 land drilling rigs, up by nine from the previous week; 14 offshore drilling rigs and one inland water drilling rig, both unchanged from last week.
Of them, 22 are directional drilling rigs, 254 are horizontal drilling rigs and 20 are vertical drilling rigs.
During the week, the number of drilling rigs increased the most by eight in the state of Texas to 133 rigs.
By far, the Permian Basin in western Texas and eastern New Mexico has been the largest source of shale oil production growth in the United States, having become an engine of supply growth outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the past years.
The United States became a world important oil producer in the past years with the help of its shale oil production growth. Meanwhile, China continues to be one of the biggest oil consumers of the world.
According to the latest release from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, China's crude oil output increased 2.4 percent year-on-year to 16.1 million tonnes in September, accelerating from an increase of 2.3 percent in August. China imported 48.48 million tonnes of crude oil in September, surging 17.6 percent year-on-year.