US natural gas, oil rig count drops to 988 as oil prices slump

Oil rig count down by 40 this week

oil rig count
Oil rig count drops under 1,000 for the first time since September, 2009.

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the natural gas and oil rig count in the U.S. declined by 40 this week to 988 amid depressed oil prices.

It was the first time the weekly count was below 1,000 since September 2009.

Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 760 rigs were seeking oil and 225 explored for natural gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,831 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas plummeted by 29 rigs, Oklahoma was down five, New Mexico by four and North Dakota dropped two. Colorado, Ohio and Wyoming declined by one each.

Arkansas and Kansas each rose by one. Alaska, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia were all unchanged.

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

The Associated Press