US rig count declines by 28 this week to 709

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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 28 to 709.

Houston's Baker Hughes said Friday that 524 rigs were seeking oil and 185 explored for natural gas. A year ago, with oil prices almost double the prices now, 1,893 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost nine rigs, New Mexico and Ohio each were down four, Colorado and North Dakota each lost two and Alaska, Arkansas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming each lost one.

Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each gained one rig.

California, Kansas and Louisiana were all unchanged.

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

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