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Domestic Rig Count Rises by 22

February 2, 2001

HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States rose 22 to 1,138 this week, a report by an oilfield equipment company said Friday.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 900 were exploring for gas, 237 were looking for oil and one was listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

A year ago, the rig count was at 757.

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 19 rigs, California four and Louisiana two. New Mexico declined by five.

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