Asia Rig Use Climbs 11% In 2010

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Demand for oil rigs used in Asia jumped 11% last year as energy producers ramped up production amid rising oil prices and higher demand from some of the fastest growing economies in the world, according to oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHI). An average of 269 rigs were used in the region last year compared with 243 in 2009, the company said.

The region accounted for about 25 percent of last year's global rig use, excluding the U.S. and Canada, according to Bloomberg News. Baker Hughes said there were 2,985 rigs operating throughout the world last year, topping the 2009 level by 681 rigs. The international rig excludes rigs operating in Iran and onshore rigs in China.

Rig usage in December was 282, the highest in more than 20 years, equaling the number deployed in November 1990, Bloomberg reported. China and India, the two fastest growing major economies in the world, are among the Asian countries that have set-off a surge in oil demand in the region.

Spending by the oil industry, including expenditures on rigs and related equipment, is expected to jump 11% this year to $490 billion as producers look to exploit higher prices, according to Barclays Capital.

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