HOUSTON — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by four this week to 1,757. The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday that 1,333 rigs were actively exploring for oil and 420 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 1,989 working rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each gained two rigs. Arkansas was up one. Louisiana declined by five rigs while Colorado and Texas each fell by two. Alaska and West Virginia were down one apiece. California and Wyoming were unchanged. The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
Samsung's bill to Apple reduced
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday slashed nearly half of the $1 billion damage award a jury ordered Samsung Electronics to pay Apple Inc. after a high-profile trial over the rights to the design and technology running some of the world's most popular smartphones and tablet computers. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh lowered the damages awarded to Apple Inc. by $450.5 million for 14 Samsung products including some products in its hot-selling Galaxy lineup, saying jurors had not properly followed her instruction in calculating some of the damages. She also concluded that mistakes had been made in determining when Apple had first notified Samsung about the alleged violations of patents for its trend-setting iPhone and IPad. Koh ordered a new trial to recalculate damages for those products.
Buffett dissatisfied with 45%
OMAHA, Neb. — Most companies would undoubtedly be thrilled with the results Warren Buffett called “subpar” at Berkshire Hathaway because his company's value trailed the overall market. But the fact that Buffett wasn't satisfied with the 45 percent jump in profit his company reported Friday is part of why he's built such a remarkable record. Buffett sounded optimistic about both the economy and his company in an annual letter to shareholders that was released Friday. Buffett urged other businesses to either invest in the future or sell their profitable ventures to Berkshire.
Antitrust lawsuit dismissed
OMAHA, Neb. — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused Union Pacific and BNSF Railways of price fixing. Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC said in its lawsuit that the two biggest railroads in the western U.S. worked to avoid direct competition with each other to keep rates high, and that Union Pacific has refused to ship coal from its Oxbow's Elk Creek Mine in western Colorado to avoid competing with BNSF. The lawsuit brought by Oxbow and six of its companies also said the railroads' fuel surcharges aren't based on actual costs and simply raise shipping rates. But U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman said in an opinion Tuesday that Oxbow failed to present adequate facts to back the allegations of price fixing.
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