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Jul 25, 3:20 PM EDT

US rig count up 12 to 1,883

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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 12 this week to 1,883.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,562 rigs were exploring for oil and 318 for gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained six, California, New Mexico and Oklahoma were each up four, and West Virginia increased by one.

Alaska lost three rigs, Pennsylvania and Texas were down two apiece and Ohio was off one.

Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, 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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