US rig count up 1 this week to 464


HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by one this week to 464.

A year ago, 884 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 381 rigs sought oil and 81 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained three rigs, New Mexico two and North Dakota and Oklahoma one apiece.

Louisiana declined by four while California, Colorado and West Virginia fell by one each.

Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.

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