Number of active rigs increase by 20

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2009 3:05 PM

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 20 this week to 1,161.

Baker Hughes Inc., based in Houston, said Friday that 757 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 393 for oil. Eleven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,790.

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