Published: 2:20 pm, Sun. Jan. 1st, 2017Updated: 2:19 pm
The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five lastweek to 658.
A year ago, 698 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have curtailed exploration, although the rig count has been rebounding in recent weeks. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 525 rigs sought oil and 132 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.
Texas gained three rigs, Oklahoma added two, and New Mexico and North Dakota were up one each. Kansas declined by one rig. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.