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Aug 29, 3:51 PM EDT

US rig count up 18 to 1,914

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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. increased by 18 this week to 1,914.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 12 rigs, Pennsylvania gained five, Oklahoma gained four and Colorado and Alaska each gained one.

Kansas lost three rigs and Arkansas, Ohio and West Virginia each lost one.

California, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

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

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