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Feb 24, 2:22 PM EST

US rig count increases 3 this week to 754; Texas up 8


HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by three this week to 754.

A year ago, 502 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 602 rigs sought oil and 151 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Texas increased by eight rigs and Wyoming gained one.

Alaska and Louisiana each lost two rigs and North Dakota declined by one.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia were all unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.

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