HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of working oil and gas rigs in the United States this week totaled 800, a decline of 14 from the previous week, Baker Hughes Inc. officials said.

A year ago, the rig count totaled 720, the Houston-based oil toolmaker said Monday.

Texas had 12 fewer working rigs this week, but the decline was attributed to recent heavy rains in the area, Baker Hughes spokesman Ike Kerridge said. There also were declines in Wyoming and Kansas, but Kerridge did not know if those were weather-related.

The rig count is considered to be the yardstick of drilling activity. Hughes Tool Co., which recently merged with Orange, Calif.-based Baker International Corp., has kept track of the number of working rigs since 1940.

Last July, the count fell to 663 - the lowest since Hughes began compiling figures - as oil prices plunged to less than $10 per 42-gallon barrel.

The rig count reached a peak in December 1981, the height of the oil boom, when 4,500 oil rigs were active.