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Originally published Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

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US oil, gas exploration rigs drop this week by 1

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. slipped by 1 this week to 1,762.

The Associated Press

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HOUSTON —

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. slipped by 1 this week to 1,762.

The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday that 1,318 rigs were exploring for oil and 439 for gas. Five were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 2,007 working rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained four rigs and Pennsylvania increased by three. Colorado and Oklahoma each lost two rigs, while Louisiana, North Dakota and Wyoming dropped one rig each. Alaska, Arkansas, California, New Mexico and West Virginia remained unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

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