HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 17 this week to 729.

A year ago, 571 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 583 rigs sought oil and 145 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Oklahoma increased by six rigs, New Mexico and Texas were each up by four and Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado and Wyoming each increased by one.

Louisiana lost one rig.

California, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, 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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