Continued retrenchment in domestic drilling activity saw the U.S. natural gas rig count fall four units to 137 for the week ended Friday (May 26), the latest numbers from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) show.

rig count

A decline of five oil-directed rigs saw the combined U.S. rig count drop to 711, down nine week/week and off 16 rigs from the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

The latest declines extend double-digit losses in both the oil and natural gas counts over the past two weeks. Last week, BKR reported an 11-rig decline in oil-directed drilling. A week before that, a 16-rig drop in natural gas drilling caught the attention of commodity traders.

For the most recent period, land drilling declined by eight rigs domestically, with...