US rig count down 2 this week to 489, Pennsylvania up 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by two this week to 489.

A year ago, 877 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 406 rigs sought oil and 81 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Pennsylvania gained two rigs and Wyoming was up one.

Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia each declined by one.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.