The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 28 this week to 1,248.
Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 811 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 425 for oil. Twelve were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,568.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 15 rigs, North Dakota and West Virginia each gained four, Louisiana and Oklahoma each gained three and New Mexico gained one. Alaska and Wyoming each lost two rigs, California and Colorado each lost one. Arkansas and Pennsylvania were unchanged.
The rig count tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted a record low of 488 in 1999.