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Aug 28, 1:36 PM EDT

US oil and natural gas rig count decreases by 8 this week to 877; down from 1,914 a year ago

HOUSTON (AP) -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. this week declined by eight to 877.

Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 675 rigs were seeking oil and 202 explored for natural gas. A year ago, with oil prices nearly double the prices now, 1,914 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained three rigs.

Louisiana lost six rigs, New Mexico was down by two and Colorado, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each decreased by one.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.

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

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