AP Nation / World

Aug 19, 1:30 PM EDT

US rig count up 10 this week to 491, Texas up 8


HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 10 this week to 491.

A year ago, 885 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 406 rigs sought oil and 83 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained eight rigs, Pennsylvania was up two and Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia added one each.

North Dakota declined by two and New Mexico was down one.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.

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