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US drops 13 to 1,826 rigs exploring for oil, gas

HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped this week by 13 to 1,826.

Texas-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,408 rigs were exploring for oil and 416 were searching for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,021 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas dropped seven rigs and New Mexico fell by 5. Alaska and Oklahoma lost three apiece, and West Virginia was down by two.

Louisiana (four) and North Dakota (one) were the only states to gain rigs.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were unchanged.

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