US rig count increases by 4; Colo. gains three

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by four this week to 1,571.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 979 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 580 for oil. Twelve were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 920.

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