Oil rig count rises by 16


HOUSTON (AP) – The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States increased by 16 this week to 1,760.
Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,471 were exploring for natural gas and 287 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,649.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained 12 rigs, Texas gained five, Wyoming gained four and Alaska and New Mexico each gained one. Colorado lost nine rigs and Louisiana lost one. California was unchanged.

Baker Hughes has tracked rig counts since 1944. The tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted several record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488.

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