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U.S. Oil and Gas Rig Count Drops

December 22, 2000

HOUSTON (AP) _ The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States dropped by 20 to 1,087 this week.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 851 were exploring for gas, 235 were looking for oil and one was listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

A year ago, the rig count was at 797.

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 last year, bottoming out at 488 on April 23, 1999.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Wyoming gained two rigs while Texas lost 10 rigs.

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