Active rigs in U.S. shale and tight sands basins gained 1% in the week ending April 1 to hit 981 rigs, up from 972 the previous week, according to NGI's Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count.

The rigs directed at unconventional natural gas and oil were about 57% of the total active rigs in the nation. In the same time period, the overall U.S. rig count gained 1.5%, going from 1,687 in the week ending March 25 to 1,713 the week ending April 1, according to a tally by Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company.

NGI's Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count utilizes county-level rig data provided by Smith Bits to more accurately target drilling levels in individual shale plays.

Natural gas with 900 rigs continued to lead oil with 810 in the Smith Bits overall count. Gas gained 14 rigs to oil's 10.

The Bakken/Sanish/Three Forks area continued to lead among the unconventional plays with 173 rigs drilling for either oil or gas in the week ending April 1, up from 170 the week before. Eagle Ford followed with 163 rigs, up 3% from the week before. The Marcellus and Haynesville/Bossier continued to rank close together with 147 rigs and 141, respectively. The Marcellus gain was 3% while Haynesville was up just 1%.