US rig count decreases by 1

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by one this week to 1,670.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. said today that 966 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 695 for oil. Nine were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,040.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost the most rigs at 12; Alaska, Arkansas and Louisiana each lost two and New Mexico and West Virginia dropped one each. Oklahoma gained nine rigs, Pennsylvania and Colorado each gained two and California, North Dakota and Wyoming each increased by one.

The rig count tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted a record low of 488 in 1999



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