From The Associated Press
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by two this week to 1,748.
The Houston-based company said in its weekly report that 1,354 rigs were exploring for oil and 389 for gas. Five were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,979 rigs.
The report was issued Thursday, a day early because of the Good Friday holiday.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained nine rigs, Colorado gained two and North Dakota and Pennsylvania each gained one.
Louisiana lost seven rigs, Texas lost four and Wyoming lost one. Alaska, Arkansas, California, New Mexico and West Virginia were unchanged.
The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.