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US rig count increases 15 this week to 839; Texas up 7

HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 15 this week to 839.

A year ago, 443 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 672 rigs sought oil and 165 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Texas increased by seven rigs, Oklahoma gained four, Wyoming rose by two and Louisiana, New Mexico and West Virginia each gained one.

Alaska lost one rig.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah were all unchanged.

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