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Rig Count Drops By 12

December 26, 1997

HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of oil and gas rigs operating nationwide dropped by 12 to 1,007 this week, Baker Hughes Inc. said.

There were 851 rigs operating in the United States during the same week last year.

Of the rigs running this week, 646 were exploring for natural gas and 357 for oil. Four were listed as miscellaneous.

Houston-based Baker Hughes has kept track of the count since 1940. The tally peaked at 4,500 in December 1981 during the oil boom. It dropped to a record low of 596 in the summer of 1993, exceeding the previous low of 663 in 1986.

The rig count represents the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas was down 13 rigs. Kansas dropped two, and Louisiana fell by one.

Wyoming gained three and Oklahoma added two.

California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania were unchanged.

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