NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States were unchanged this week at 955, according to a report on Friday by oil services firm Baker Hughes in Houston. The gas-directed rig count, which has fallen three times in the last five weeks, hit 992 in mid-August, its highest level since February 2009 when there were 1,018 rigs drilling for gas. Horizontal rigs -- the type most often used to extract oil or gas from shale -- slipped three to 940 after hitting a record high of 943 last week, Baker Hughes said. Analysts estimate that two-thirds of horizontal rigs are drilling for natural gas, and these comprise part of the overall rig count. The rest are drilling for oil. (Reporting by Joe Silha; Editing by David Gregorio) Keywords: ENERGY NATGAS/RIGS (email@example.com; +1 646 223 6071; Reuters Messaging; firstname.lastname@example.org) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
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