HOUSTON — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by nine this week to 907. Louisiana's tally was unchanged for the week at 58, but up from 48 a year ago. 

The U.S. count is up from the 568 rigs that were active a year ago. The count bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that 738 rigs sought oil and 169 explored for natural gas this week.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained six rigs; New Mexico, four; and Alaska and Utah, one each.

Texas lost two rigs and West Virginia decreased by one.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were unchanged.