US rig count up 20 this week to 588; Texas gains 8


HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 20 this week to 588.

A year ago, 757 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have curtailed oil and gas exploration, although the rig count has been rising in recent weeks.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 471 rigs sought oil and 116 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Texas gained eight rigs and Louisiana and Oklahoma each gained four.

Ohio gained three, Colorado gained two, while Alabama and Utah each gained one. North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each lost one rig. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.

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