US rig count stable, remains this week at 1,777

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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. remained unchanged this week at 1,777.

The Houston firm said in its weekly report Friday that 1,416 rigs were exploring for oil and 356 for gas. Five were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,753 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Kansas and New Mexico each gained two rigs while Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Oklahoma rose by one each.

California was down by three, Texas two and Pennsylvania and West Virginia one apiece. Alaska, Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

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