Originally created 06/26/04

Weekly U.S. oil and gas rig count up by five



HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States rose by five this week to 1,176.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,005 were exploring for gas, 170 were looking for oil and one was listed as miscellaneous, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.

A year ago, the rig count was 1,074.

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, Louisiana gained two rigs and California and Texas one each. New Mexico and Oklahoma each declined by two and Alaska was down one. Wyoming was unchanged.