Number of active rigs increase by 4

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 3:05 PM

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 4 this week to 1,141.

Baker Hughes Inc., based in Houston, said Friday that 748 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 383 for oil. Ten were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,852.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained seven rigs, Wyoming gained two and California, North Dakota and Oklahoma each gained one. Colorado lost four rigs, Pennsylvania lost three and Alaska and Texas each lost one.

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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.

(This version CORRECTS time element in 2nd graf0)