US rig count drops 9 this week to all-time low of 480


HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped 9 this week to 480, a record low and another sign of continuing price woes in the oil and gas industry.

Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 386 rigs sought oil and 94 explored for natural gas. A year ago, 1,125 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 12 rigs, Oklahoma lost three, New Mexico lost two and North Dakota and Ohio lost one.

Louisiana and Pennsylvania each gained three rigs, Kansas gained two and California and Utah each gained one.

Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, West Virginia and Wyoming all were unchanged.

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