worldwide rig count dropped slightly in November 2000 as energy exploration projects lost a little momentum outside the U.S. The drop would have been greater, but the U.S. rig market showed a small uptick. The worldwide rig count for November was 2,129, down 6 from 2,135 in October. However, it was up 436 from a year ago -- 1,693 in November 1999. Worldwide rig count has increased fairly steadily since bottoming out at 1,553 in April 2000.