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US count up 4 to 1,839 rigs exploring for oil, gas

HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased this week by four to 1,839.

Texas-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and 427 were searching for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,013 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska gained five rigs while Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota rose by two each. Louisiana and Wyoming were up one piece.

Texas declined by five rigs, Oklahoma by two and West Virginia by one.

California, New Mexico and Pennsylvania were unchanged.

The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

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