HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States rose by 19 this week to 1,187.
Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,024 were exploring for gas, 162 were looking for oil and one was listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.
A year ago, the rig count was 1,071.
Baker Hughes has kept track of the count since 1944. The tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. Several record lows were set in 1999, bottoming out at 488.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained seven rigs, New Mexico gained five, California and Wyoming each gained three, and Oklahoma and Louisiana each gained two. Alaska was unchanged.