HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by two this week to 524.
A year ago, 795 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 428 rigs sought oil and 94 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.
Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma and Texas gained two rigs each while Alaska, Louisiana and Pennsylvania were up one apiece.
Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and West Virginia each declined by one.
Arkansas, California, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.