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U.S. NatGas Rigs Hold Steady in Final 2015 Tally

The last rig count of 2015 saw no change in the tally of operating natural gas rigs in the United States. But the U.S. oil rig count dropped by two, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

Three land-based rigs left action, and one rig was added in the U.S. offshore. While five horizontal rigs left, three vertical units were added.

California and North Dakota each saw the departure of two rigs, making them the biggest losers among states. Texas added two rigs, making the Lone Star State the biggest gainer.

Among plays, the Williston Basin dropped two rigs, the biggest loser; and the Permian added five, making it the biggest gainer.

In Canada, drillers are packing it in for the winter. Thirty-two oil rigs left service, and 11 natural gas rigs were packed up.

So, on the eve of what every producer is hoping is a year of higher natural gas and oil prices -- and a year in which many industry analysts are expecting more of the same -- the United States had 698 rigs running, down from 1,811 a year ago; and Canada had 83 rigs running, down from 208 a year ago.

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