There are 20 active oil rigs in Colorado, signaling a slow recovery from spring lows

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A fracking rig on Colorado’s Front Range. (Kevin J. Beaty) front range; energy; fracking; oil and gas; kevinjbeaty;

A rig on Colorado's Front Range. (Kevin J. Beaty)

Colorado's oil and gas operations are showing a little recovery from the industry's all-time low. Active oil and natural gas rigs increased by one this week, bringing the state total back up to 20, from 15 in May.

Active rigs averaged about 20 during the month of July, and peaked at 21 in August due to high summer demand, according to data from Baker Hughes, Inc. But active rigs still aren’t what they were even one year ago.

A year ago this week, Colorado tallied 30 active wells, and there were a grand total of 809 active across the country.

Depressed oil and gas prices declined to about $26 per barrel during the first quarter of 2016, curbing oil and gas exploration efforts across the board, the Denver Post reported.

In May, active rigs bottomed out at an all-time low of 404 nationally. A total of 4,350 oil and gas rigs were active during a historical high in 1981, the AP reported.

Today, the price of oil reached about $48, Bloomberg reported, part of what's prompting increased activity. But according to the Denver Post, the usual end of summer demand slump could push prices back down to $40 in the fall.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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