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Mar 27, 2:06 PM EDT

US oil and natural gas rig count drops by 21 to 1,048


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HOUSTON (AP) -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 21 this week to 1,048 amid falling oil prices.

Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 813 rigs were seeking oil and 233 exploring for natural gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,809 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas each lost three rigs while California, Colorado, New Mexico and North Dakota were down two apiece. Wyoming was off by one.

Kansas and Pennsylvania each gained one rig. Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and West Virginia were unchanged.

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

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