Jan 23, 2:00 PM EST

US rig count falls by 43 to 1,633


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 43 this week to 1,633.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,317 rigs were exploring for oil and 316 for gas. A year ago 1,777 rigs were active.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas' count declined by 13, North Dakota dropped nine, Oklahoma fell eight, Ohio four, California and New Mexico each lost three and Utah declined by two. Kansas, West Virginia and Wyoming dropped one apiece.

Louisiana increased by three rigs, Pennsylvania added two and Arkansas gained one.

Alaska and Colorado were unchanged.

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

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