HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 11 for this week to 1,651. Houston-based drilling systems provider Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 985 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 655 for oil. Eleven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 985.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, the biggest gain was in Oklahoma with 16. Colorado and New Mexico each gained one. Texas lost four rigs, Wyoming lost two and Pennsylvania lost one. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, North Dakota and West Virginia remain unchanged.
The rig tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted a record low of 488 in 1999.