HOUSTON (AP) -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 23 this week to 1,396.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 926 rigs were exploring for natural gas and 456 for oil. Fourteen were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week, the rig count stood at 1,170.

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Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 23 rigs, Colorado gained three, North Dakota gained two and Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each gained one. Louisiana lost 10 rigs, New Mexico lost two and California lost one. Alaska, Arkansas, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

The rig count tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted a record low of 488 in 1999