Number Of Active US Rigs Up 34

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 34 this week to 1,282.

Baker Hughes Inc., based in Houston, said Friday 833 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 437 for oil. Twelve were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,515.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 15 rigs while Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma each gained four. Arkansas gained three, Alaska two and New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming one each. Pennsylvania lost by two and California one. West Virginia was 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.

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