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What a difference a year makes.
There were 32 oil and natural gas rigs drilling in Pennsylvania at the close of 2016, more than have shown up in Baker Hughes' weekly tally not only since the beginning of 2016 but also the most since September 2015 as the downturn deepened.
The Consol Energy Inc. well site in Switzerland Township, Ohio.
The last time there were more than 32 rigs on the job in Pennsylvania was the week of Sept. 25, 2015, when there were 33. The rig count dropped to 30 the next week and then continued falling throughout the rest of the year and into 2016, bouncing between 13 and 14 in June and July when natural gas prices were low and drilling companies were constrained.
MORE: Why Consol chose Ohio's Utica Shale as a place to resume drilling
Things started to move in August, clearing 20 in September and continuing to climb to the low 30s in December.
The number of natural gas and oil rigs also climbed in nearby Ohio, although not in West Virginia. There are now 19 rigs in Ohio, up from as few as 13 as late as September. But West Virginia, which had 15 on Dec. 31, 2015, has fallen to eight at the end of 2016.