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Originally published Friday, April 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

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US rig count up by 18, mostly in Oklahoma

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 18 this week to 1,818.

The Associated Press

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HOUSTON —

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 18 this week to 1,818.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 926 rigs were exploring for oil and 882 for gas. Ten were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the count was 1,483.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained nine rigs, Pennsylvania gained five and Texas gained three. North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming picked up one apiece.

New Mexico lost one rig while Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado and Louisiana were unchanged.

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

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