US rig count up 12 this week to 569; Texas gains 6

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 12 this week to 569.

A year ago, 771 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 450 rigs sought oil and 117 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained six rigs, Oklahoma was up three, Louisiana and North Dakota increased by two each and Colorado added one.

Alaska declined by one.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

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