Rig Count Drops by 4 This Week

HOUSTON (AP) -- Oil-field services company Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI  ) says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by four this week to 1,757.

The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday that 1,333 rigs were actively exploring for oil and 420 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 1,989 working rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each gained two rigs. Arkansas was up one. Louisiana declined by five rigs while Colorado and Texas each fell by two. Alaska and West Virginia were down one apiece. California and Wyoming were unchanged.

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

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