The number of U.S. oil rigs jumped to a record high last week due to activity in the Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas, according to weekly data from Baker Hughes Inc., the Houston-based oilfield services firm. 

Rigs drilling for oil inside the United States increased by 14 to 1,487, which is the highest number since 1987. 

The number of rigs active in the Eagle Ford increased by nine to 209, which ties a record set last May, according to the data. 

Related: 4 Reasons You Should Expand into the Marcellus Shale

Worthington to acquire tank production facility

Worthington Industries Inc., a metal processor, has entered into an agreement with Steffes Corporation to acquire its tank manufacturing division, according to a press release from Worthington. No price was disclosed. 

Steffes is an oilfield storage tank manufacturing company catering to customers drilling in the Williston Basin. The business generated $25 million in revenue in 2013. 

Related: Blog: Could Government Regulations Hurt the Oil and Gas Industry?

Steffes’ tank manufacturing facility, located in Dickinson, N.D., was started in 2007 and currently employs 35. The additional capacity will help Worthington’s existing operations in Ohio and Kansas that manufacture steel and fiberglass storage tanks, gas separators, gas production units and related wellhead equipment for oil and gas exploration customers in the Marcellus, Utica, Bakken and Mid-Continent regions.

Hitachi, EERC announce plans to partner

Hitachi America Ltd. and the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) in North Dakota announced March 31 that the two companies are partnering to develop technology-driven products, services and solutions for enhancing the production of oil reserves from the Bakken Shale Play. 

Related: Bakken Extra: Mandan, Hidatsa And Arikara Nation Will Drill Bakken’s First Tribal-Owned Oil Wells

Using analytical tools to compile and evaluate Bakken data, oilfield operators and state officials can better understand the relationships between the productivity of an oil well and a variety of factors, such as how the well was drilled and geology of the area. The tools can be used to identify previously unrecognized relationships in the data. Understanding them will enable the industry to improve the productivity of current and future Bakken wells, the EERC said in a statement. 

The EERC has conducted several research projects geared toward both improving the productivity and efficiency of Bakken development and reducing its environmental footprint. Hitachi has worked to develop analytical data tools for the conventional oil and gas industry.

Changes proposed for refinery in Utah

State environmental regulators in Utah have signaled their intent to approve proposed changes to the operation of a planned refinery outside of Green River in Emery County. 

That step now starts another public review process and comment period that runs through April 23 for Emery Refining, which is poised to open one of the nation’s first refineries in nearly 40 years. 

The $230 million refinery and rail facility is a project of Rock River Resources, based out of Houston. The operation isn’t large with a total volume of just 28,000 barrels per day. 

Proposed operation changes by Rock River include a modular-style design rather than a built-in-place design; a product mix change, including the eliminations of asphalt; few, but larger storage tanks; truck and rail loading operations will use refinery storage systems and a thermal oxidizer to collect and control emissions.

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