The holiday-shortened week brought a decline for the total number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S with 15 fewer rigs in operation this week compared to last week, according to oil services firm Baker Hughes. Baker Hughes (BHI) normally releases the rig-count data on Friday, but the release date was moved up due to the Christmas holiday.
There are currently 751 rigs exploring for gas and 416 for oil with 11 listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,721, according to the AP. The number of rigs exploring for oil rose by seven and the number of working gas rigs declined by 22 this week.
Arkansas and Colorado each had two fewer rigs working while Alaska, California, New Mexico and Wyoming declined by one. Texas and West Virginia saw unchanged rig counts. Louisiana, North Dakota and Oklahoma each gained two and Pennsylvania gained one rig, the AP reported.