In this week's news, an attempt to halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline failed in federal court, and the rig count jumped up by 11 last week.

An attempt to halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation in North Dakota failed in federal court Sept. 9, but three federal agencies asked the pipeline company to “voluntarily pause” work on a segment that tribal officials say holds sacred sites and artifacts.

The tribe challenged the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant permits at more than 200 water crossing for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ $3.8 billion pipeline, saying the project violated several federal laws. The tribe also tells the Associated Press that ancient sacred sites have been disturbed during construction.

Energy Transfer Partners plans to have the pipeline completed this year. In court papers, the company says stopping the project would cost it $1.4 billion the first year, mostly due to lost revenue in hauling crude.

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Rig Count Climbs by 11

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 11 last week to 508, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Sept. 9.

The Houston-based company says that 414 rigs sought oil and 92 explored for natural gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 848 rigs were active.

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Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained eight rigs, Texas was up four, Utah and West Virginia each increased by two and Ohio by one. Oklahoma declined by four and New Mexico was off two.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were unchanged.

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