Dec 12, 1:37 PM EST

US rig count down 27 to 1,893


HOUSTON (AP) -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 27 this week to 1,893.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,546 rigs were exploring for oil and 346 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,782 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, California, Kansas, Ohio and West Virginia each gained two rigs and New Mexico gained one.

Texas lost 24 rigs, Arkansas lost three, Colorado lost two and Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each lost one.

Oklahoma and Utah were unchanged.

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

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