U.S. rig count drops 12 this week to 502; Texas down 5

The Associated Press

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 12 this week to 502.

HOUSTON (AP) Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 12 this week to 502.

The Houston company said Friday that 400 rigs sought oil and 102 explored for natural gas amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 1,267 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas declined by five rigs, New Mexico dropped by three, Alaska and California each declined by two and Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming each dropped by one.

Louisiana gained two rigs and West Virginia gained one.

Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma were all unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

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