US oil and gas rig count down by 18

HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States fell by 18 this week to 2,013.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,586 were exploring for natural gas and 416 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Eleven were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,814.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained four rigs, Colorado added three and Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming added one each. Texas lost 20 rigs, New Mexico lost five and California lost one. Arkansas and Louisiana 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 record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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