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Oil Rig Count Reaches Nearly 2000 Rigs In 2011, Up 300 From 2010

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HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by one this week to 1,855.

Houston-based drilling product provider Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 969 rigs were exploring for oil and 879 for natural gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,527.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico gained seven rigs, Louisiana rose by six, Wyoming by four and Pennsylvania by three. Texas dropped 10 rigs, while Oklahoma decreased by four. North Dakota and Colorado each decreased by two. California and Alaska each dropped one. Arkansas and West Virginia remained unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981, the height of the oil boom. A low of 488 was recorded in 1999.

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