Number of active rigs increase by 32

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 6:23 PM

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 32 this week to 1,193.

Baker Hughes Inc., based in Houston, said Friday that 773 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 409 for oil. Eleven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,764.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 20 rigs, Colorado gained six and New Mexico and North Dakota each gained two. Louisiana lost four rigs while Arkansas and Pennsylvania each lost one. Alaska, California, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming 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.