Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. plummeted by 61 this week to 1,750.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,421 rigs were exploring for oil and 329 for gas. A year ago 1,754 rigs were active.
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Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska and Arkansas each gained two rigs and Ohio gained one.
Texas plunged by 30, North Dakota dropped by seven, New Mexico fell six, Utah and Wyoming each dropped by five, Kansas and Oklahoma each fell by three, Pennsylvania dropped two and Colorado and Louisiana each fell by one.
California and West Virginia were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.