US oil, gas exploration rigs drop this week by 1

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Associated Press

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 9:02 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell this week by one to 1,799.

Baker Hughes, based in Houston, said Friday that 1,381 were exploring for oil and 416 were searching for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 2,019 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico gained eight rigs, Alaska gained four and Colorado and North Dakota each gained one.

Louisiana lost six rigs, Texas lost five, Oklahoma lost three and Arkansas lost one. California, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

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