HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 10 this week to 431.

A year ago, 862 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 341 rigs sought oil and 89 explored this week for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas and Oklahoma each gained four rigs, Colorado was up two and Louisiana one.

Alaska and New Mexico declined by two apiece.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged.

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

And yet, some sources are reporting that some oil companies, particularly in the Bakken, are starting to hire again to ramp up hydraulic fracturing operations.

Halliburton is hosting a job fair this week in Williston, North Dakota. And according to the Billings Gazette, some of the hiring is for fracking operations in other states.