HOUSTON (AP) " The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 11 this week to 508.
A year ago, 848 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 414 rigs sought oil and 92 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.
Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained eight rigs, Texas was up four, Utah and West Virginia each increased by two and Ohio by one.
Oklahoma declined by four and New Mexico was off two.
Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings