Mar 22, 2014 15:46 U.S. rig count up 17; Louisiana unchanged U.S. rig count up 17; Louisiana unchanged An oil rig operating in Louisiana. The Associated Press March 22, 2014 Comments HOUSTON — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 17 this week to 1,809. The Houston firm said in its weekly report Friday that 1,461 rigs were exploring for oil and 344 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, North Dakota gained seven rigs, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas each gained four and Pennsylvania gained one. Alaska lost three rigs, Kansas lost two and California declined by one. Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.