U.S. Oil, Gas Exploration Rigs Drop This Week

HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell this week by 11 to 1,800.

Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI  ) reported Friday that 1,382 were exploring for oil and 417 were searching for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 1,987 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Arkansas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania each gained one rig.

Alaska lost four rigs, while North Dakota dropped by three. New Mexico and Texas each decreased by two rigs. Louisiana dropped one rig. California, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.


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