U.S. rig count rises to 1,847

12:02, May 28, 2011      

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The number of operating oil and natural gas rigs in the United States rose by 17 to 1,847 this week, according to a weekly report released here on Friday.

A total of 958 rigs were exploring for oil and 881 for natural gas, with another eight rigs listed as miscellaneous, according to the report released by Houston-based oil service company Baker Hughes Inc.

The rig count stood at 1,535 a year ago.

Of the major U.S. oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 16 rigs, New Mexico and Arkansas added two each and Oklahoma added one. Louisiana lost the most rigs, decreasing by four, while California, Wyoming and North Dakota each lost one rig.

The Baker Hughes rig counts, first issued in 1944, act as an important business barometer for drilling firms and their suppliers to gauge the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 as a result of the oil boom. It plummeted to a record low of 488 in 1999.

Source: Xinhua
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