Number of Rigs in US Down 13 This Week

HOUSTON (AP) - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States fell by 13 this week to 2,018. Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,589 were exploring for natural gas and 417 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

Twelve were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,769. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Wyoming gained two rigs while Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico gained one apiece. Oklahoma lost five rigs, and Texas lost two. North Dakota lost one. Alaska, California and Colorado were 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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