US rig count increases by 2

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by two this week to 1,685.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. said today that 955 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 720 for oil. Ten were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,101.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 12 rigs, Pennsylvania gained three and Alaska gained one. Louisiana and West Virginia each lost four rigs, New Mexico and Oklahoma each lost two and Arkansas, California and North Dakota each lost one. Colorado and Wyoming remained unchanged.

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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