In this week's news, 15 protesters were arrested in Iowa at a site of the Dakota Access Pipeline project, and the rig county dropped by two last week

At least 15 people were arrested Sept. 17 during a protest intended to block the construction of a major oil pipeline through southeast Iowa.

More than 150 protesters gathered at the work site entrance of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Sandusky, a Mississippi River town across the river from Illinois and 5 miles north of Missouri.

The Burlington Hawk Eye Newspaper reports that protesters were arrested after walking through a line of private security and Lee County sheriff’s deputies who were standing in front of the driveway to the work site.

Related: GOM Pipelines: Coal Production Down; Refinery Runs To Hit Record High

On Friday, Sept. 16, a federal appeals court ordered a halt to construction of a section of the pipeline in North Dakota.

Rig Count Drops by 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by two last week to 506, according to data released Sept. 16 by oilfield services company Baker Hughes.

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The Houston-based company says that 416 rigs sought oil and 89 explored for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 842 rigs were active.

Among major oil and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained three rigs and Alaska was up one. Louisiana declined by two rigs and North Dakota and Texas fell by one each.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

Related: Blog: Gas and Oil Fuel North Dakota’s Rise

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