Number of Working Rigs Up
HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of working domestic oil and gas drilling rigs rose by nine last week to a total 1,108, Baker Hughes said Monday.
The previous week, the rig count was 1,099. A year ago, the total was 740, the Houston-based oil toolmaker said.
Baker Hughes’ count, which reflects the number of rigs working as of last Friday, tallies the number of rigs actively exploring for oil, and not rigs producing oil.
The rig count is considered to be the yardstick of drilling activity, and Baker Hughes officials have said they expect the total to top 1,200 by December.
Hughes Tool Co., which merged this year with Baker International Corp. of Orange, Calif., has kept track of the number of working rigs since 1940.
Last summer the rig count fell to 663 - the lowest since Hughes began compiling figures - as oil prices plunged to less than $10 per 42-gallon barrel.
The count reached a peak in December 1981, the height of the oil boom, when 4,500 rigs were active.