US rig count drops 3 this week to 440, another all-time low

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by three this week to 440, again reaching an-time low amid depressed energy industry prices.

A year ago, 954 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 351 rigs sought oil and 89 explored for natural gas.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost three rigs and Alaska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each dropped one.

New Mexico gained two rigs while Kansas and Louisiana gained one apiece.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. The previous low of 488 set in 1999 was eclipsed March 11, and has continued to dip.

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