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State's rig count dips by two

Apr 1, 2012 The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. is up by 11 this week to 1,979.

The Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,318 rigs were exploring for oil and 658 for natural gas.

Three were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago this week Baker Hughes reported 1,776 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained seven. Alaska, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania each picked up two. Oklahoma was up by one.

Louisiana lost three, and Wyoming was down by two. Arkansas and Colorado fell by one.

California, New Mexico and West Virginia were unchanged.

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

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