Oil well drilling trends continue to rise in the first quarter of 2013 with total oil well completions up 20 percent (to 8,705 wells) from 2012 first quarter figures, according to API’s 2013 Quarterly Well Completion Report: First Quarter.

“The oil and natural gas industry expanded oil drilling in the first quarter of 2013 thanks in large part to access on private and state lands,” said Hazem Arafa, director of API’s statistics department. “Additional access to our own vast energy resources and streamlined federal permitting would allow for more opportunities to produce U.S. energy while creating more American jobs and generating more revenue for our government.”

Natural gas well completions continued to decline with 26 percent fewer wells (to 2,175 wells) from year ago levels, according to the report. Total number of wells completed in first quarter 2013 increased by 6 percent (to 12,381 wells) from year ago levels, while total footage drilled increased 12 percent (to 104 million feet).

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.