According to a June 21 report from DailyMarkets.com, in its weekly release, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported a rise in the U.S. rig count, reflecting intensified drilling activity in Texas. This was partly offset by the growing oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the ensuing drilling ban in the region that reduced activity. Rigs operating in the state of Texas climbed to their highest level in 16 months, while rig count in the GoM plunged further to a new 16-year low of 17 rigs (after dropping by 57% over the last two weeks). Rigs exploring and producing in the U.S. totaled 1,539 for the week ended June 18, 2010. This is up by 12 from the previous week’s rig count and represents the highest level achieved this year. The current nation-wide rig count is 76% higher from the 2009 low of 876 (set in the week ended June 12, 2009).