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Domestic Oil, Gas Rig Count Rises

March 23, 2001

HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States was up by 12 to 1,163 this week.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 904 were exploring for gas, 256 were looking for oil and three were listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

A year ago, the rig count was at 768.

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, Texas gained 10 rigs and Oklahoma gained eight while Louisiana lost five, and California and Wyoming each lost two.

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