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US oil and natural gas rig count declines by 2 to 874

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HOUSTON — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by two this week to 874.

Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 664 rigs were seeking oil and 209 explored for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,889 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico gained three rigs, Louisiana gained two and North Dakota, Ohio, Texas and Wyoming each gained one.

Kansas lost four rigs, Utah declined by three, Alaska and Pennsylvania each lost two and Colorado and West Virginia each declined by one.

Arkansas, California and Oklahoma were unchanged.

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

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