(OILPRICE) — Strong growth in international drilling activity helped increase quarterly profits for some of the largest oil companies in the industry. Oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. said last week the number of rigs counted internationally increased 2.3 percent when compared to last year. Rig operator Transocean, meanwhile, said it was looking to tap into oil deposits in water depths previously out of reach to explorers. The drilling technology may be expensive but the rush offshore seems worth the risk for major investors.
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) and Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI), two of the world's largest oil services company, last week reported increases in their quarterly profits thanks in part to a surge in international drilling. In its rig count last week, Baker Hughes said it saw the number of rigs working in the United States drop by 100 when compared with the same time last year. Internationally, however, it said the number of rigs rose by 30 to 1,284 when compared with 2012. Its rig count serves as a gauge of the demand of the world's appetite for oil and natural gas.