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Domestic Oil, Gas Rig Count Up

May 17, 2002

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HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States this week rose by 17 to 829.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 696 were exploring for gas, 131 were looking for oil and two were was listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

A year ago, the rig count was 1,225.

Baker Hughes has kept track of the count since 1944. The tally peaked at 4,530 on Dec. 28, 1981, during the height of the oil boom, but set several record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488 on April 23, 1999.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained 13 rigs, Wyoming six, New Mexico three and Louisiana one.

Texas declined by 12 rigs while Alaska and California were unchanged.

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