US rig count rises 10 this week to 424 in 3rd week of gains

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 10 this week to 424, marking the third-consecutive week the count has increased after a slide that lasted months and pushed the count to record-low levels amid depressed energy prices.

A year ago, 857 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 337 rigs sought oil and 86 explored for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 13 rigs and West Virginia increased two.

Alaska and Louisiana fell by one apiece.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out last month at 404.

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