US rig count decreases by 11

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by 11 this week to 1,650.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. said today that 967 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 673 for oil. Ten were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,017.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 12 rigs, Louisiana dropped by 4, while New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each lost two rigs. North Dakota lost one rig. Alaska, Arkansas, California and Colorado each gained two rigs. Oklahoma 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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