US oil rig count drops to all-time low

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981

FILE - In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa. The Obama administration is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations. A final rule released Friday also updates requirements for well construction and disposal of water and other fluids used in fracking, a drilling method that has prompted an ongoing boom in natural gas production. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
FILE - In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

HOUSTON (AP) – The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by three this week to 440, again reaching an-time low amid depressed energy industry prices.

A year ago, 954 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 351 rigs sought oil and 89 explored for natural gas.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost three rigs and Alaska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each dropped one.

New Mexico gained two rigs while Kansas and Louisiana gained one apiece.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. The previous low of 488 set in 1999 was eclipsed March 11, and has continued to dip.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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