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US rig count drops 27 this week to 514; Texas down 12

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 27 this week to 514.

The Houston company said Friday 413 rigs sought oil and 101 explored for natural gas amid depressedenergy prices. A year ago, 1,310 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas declined by 12 rigs, Oklahoma and North Dakota each dropped three, Louisiana fell by two, and Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming dropped one apiece.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Ohio, 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.

In related news, Energy Sector Movers, Losers and News: OPEC in talks to freeze oil production.

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