US oil and natural gas rig count up by 1

    HOUSTON (AP) ? The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by one this week to 1,887.

    Houston-based drilling product provider Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,007 rigs were exploring for oil and 873 for natural gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,567.

    Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained four rigs, Oklahoma three and Alaska and New Mexico one each. North Dakota and Texas each declined by three and Arkansas, California and Pennsylvania were down by one apiece. Colorado, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

    The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981, the height of the oil boom. A low of 488 was recorded in 1999.