US oil and natural gas rig count up by 18

Posted July 15, 2011, at 9:13 p.m.

HOUSTON — The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States rose by 18 this week to 1,905.

Houston-based drilling product provider Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,013 rigs were exploring for oil and 885 for natural gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,571.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 11 rigs, Louisiana four, Alaska and California two each, and Arkansas, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming one apiece. Colorado and Oklahoma each were down one. Pennsylvania and West Virginia were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981, the height of the oil boom. A low of 488 was recorded in 1999.

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