Oct 24, 3:19 PM EDT

US rig count up 9 to 1,927

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HOUSTON (AP) -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by nine this week to 1,927.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,595 rigs were exploring for oil and 332 for gas. A year ago there were 1,738 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained eight rigs, New Mexico increased five, West Virginia was up three, while Arkansas, California and Ohio gained two apiece. Alaska was up one.

Kansas declined by four, Pennsylvania was down three, Wyoming lost two and Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Utah decreased by one each.

Oklahoma was unchanged.

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

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