With all the gloom flying around it can be difficult to find anything encouraging to report, but it's there if you look for it.
For example, with much of the valve industry tied to the oil patch, it's a bit discouraging to see that the Baker Hughes U.S. rig count was 1,941 on Nov. 14, down by 51 rigs (2.5%) from the week before and down 2% from the previous month. Yet it's not all bad. We can take some comfort that it is still 8% above year-ago levels. And API numbers back that up, at least partially. The API 2008 Quarterly Well Completion Report: Third Quarter estimated that 16,379 oil wells, natural gas wells and dry holes were completed in the third quarter of 2008, a 16% increase over last year's third quarter.