HOUSTON - The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States fell by 12 this week to 1,877.
Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,479 were exploring for natural gas and 390 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Eight were listed as miscellaneous.
A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,774.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 14 rigs, Colorado lost nine, New Mexico lost two and California and Alaska each lost one. Louisiana added three rigs, Oklahoma added one and Wyoming was 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 several record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488.