Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. plunged by 87 this week to 1,456 amid depressed oil prices.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,140 rigs were exploring for oil and 314 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago 1,771 rigs were active.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas' count plummeted by 41, North Dakota dropped 11, New Mexico was down nine, Colorado fell eight and Oklahoma seven. Kansas and West Virginia each lost four, Ohio and Utah were down two apiece and Louisiana was off one.
Alaska, Arkansas, California, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.