US rig count up 24 this week to total 1,776, but down more than 200 from a year ago

HOUSTON – Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. has increased by 24 this week to 1,776.

The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday that 1,341 rigs were actively exploring for oil and 431 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 1,984 working rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained eight rigs, Oklahoma seven, Texas three, New Mexico and Pennsylvania two each, and North Dakota and Wyoming one apiece. West Virginia was down one. Alaska, Arkansas, California and Colorado were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.