• US rig count jumps by 15 to 939; Louisiana, New Mexico add 5

    HOUSTON (AP) - The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 15 this week to 939.

    That exceeds the 659 rigs that were active this time a year ago.

    Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported on Friday that 752 rigs were drilling for oil and 187 for natural gas this week.

    Among oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana and New Mexico each gained five rigs, Oklahoma increased by three, Colorado gained two and Alaska and Utah each increased by one.

    Texas lost two rigs.

    Arkansas, California, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

    The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.

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