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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 646 223 6071; Reuters Messaging; email@example.com) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.