Energy explorers deployed rigs at a faster pace in Africa and the Middle East in July, while drilling in Asia contracted, according to data compiled by Baker Hughes Inc.
Rigs used in Africa have announced gas discoveries, totaled 105 last month, up 72 percent from a year earlier, Baker Hughes, an oilfield-services company, said on its website. Drilling equipment in the Middle East rose 40 percent, while rigs in Asia shrunk 4.5 percent.
There were 401 rigs operating on land and sea in the Middle East, excluding Iraq, up from 287 a year earlier, according to the data. Asia had 233 in operation last month, compared with 244 a year earlier.
The total international rig count excluding the U.S. and Canada stood at 1,264, compared with 1,150 a year earlier, Baker Hughes said. The figures include offshore and onshore drill sites and exclude those in Iran and onshore in China.