Roundup: New oil rigs / SNAP decreases / Outage prompts investigation

    Black gold: The nation added three active oil and gas rigs last week, even though U.S. oil prices have slid to about $45 per barrel. The total rig count rose to 1,083 nationwide, according to the energy services firm Baker Hughes. Texas added one rig, bringing its total to 532, representing a little under half of the nation’s total. Alaska added two rigs, bringing its total to seven, and Louisiana added one, bringing its total to 67. Ohio added one rig. Oklahoma and Wyoming each lost one. Read the full report.

    SNAP decrease: A federal cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security and veterans benefits for 2019 will result in decreases to about 100,000 Louisiana residents’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, The Daily Advertiser reports. The 2019 COLA will result in a 2.8% increase in monthly Social Security payments for retirement, survivors and disability insurance as well as Supplemental Security Income and Veterans Administration benefits. Read the full story.

    Investigation: Federal officials and at least one state say they’ve started an investigation into a nationwide CenturyLink internet outage that has caused 911 service disruptions. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai made the announcement Friday, saying the outage from the Monroe-based company that started Thursday is “completely unacceptable” because people who need help couldn’t use the 911 emergency number. Read the full story.

    Editor’s note: The offices of Business Report will be closed Tuesday in observance of New Year’s Day. Daily Report will not be published but will return on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Have a safe and happy holiday.   

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