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NM oil rig count surpasses record, continues to rise

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The number of active oil rigs in New Mexico now stands at 107, an increase of more than 40 compared to the same time last year.

Baker Hughes, an oilfield services firm that has produced weekly reports since 1975, released its weekly national rotary rig count Friday.

The report indicated that New Mexico now has 107 active rigs, compared to 61 on Aug. 11, 2017, and 31 on Aug. 12, 2016.

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association has posted on its blog that New Mexico’s all-time high rig count in previous years was 103 recorded in October and December 2014. The state reached and then exceeded that number in July this year.

Baker Hughes’ website also indicates that the United States added 13 active rigs this week to reach a total of 1,057. That represents an increase of 108 compared to August 2017. Since Baker Hughes began reporting data, the highest U.S. count was 4,530 in December 1981.

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New Mexico has the second-largest number of rigs after Texas, which had 522 active rigs as of Friday.

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association notes that most of the New Mexico rigs are in the Permian Basin in southeastern counties of the state. A few are in San Juan County in northwest New Mexico.

Each rig is estimated to support 50 jobs, the association indicates.