Led by growth in the gassy Haynesville Shale, the U.S. natural gas rig count climbed six units to 124 for the week ended Friday (Feb. 18), according to the latest tally from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

The natural gas drilling gains helped drive a second straight week of double-digit growth for BKR’s combined U.S. rig count. Including an increase of four oil-directed units, the overall U.S. count jumped 10 units higher to end at 645. That follows a 22-rig surge in the week-earlier period. Overall, total active U.S. rigs were up 248 year/year as of Friday, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

Land drilling rose by 13 units week/week, partially offset by a four-rig decline in the Gulf of Mexico for the period. One rig was added in inland waters for the week. Horizontal drilling rose by 15 units, partially offset by net declines of three vertical rigs and two directional rigs.

The Canadian rig count added one unit to reach 220 for the week, up from 172 in the year-earlier period. Net changes included a gain of three natural gas-directed rigs, partially offset by a decline of two oil-directed rigs.

Broken down by major play, the Permian Basin led with a net increase of five rigs week/week, growing its total to 306. The Haynesville added four rigs week/week to end with 58 rigs, up from 46 a year ago. The Denver-Julesburg Niobrara added two rigs, while the Arkoma Woodford, Cana Woodford and Marcellus Shale each added one. The Mississippian Lime and Utica Shale, meanwhile, each dropped one rig from their respective totals.

Broken down by state, Texas saw a net gain of eight rigs week/week, with Colorado and New Mexico each adding two rigs. Pennsylvania added one rig to its total, while Louisiana, Ohio and Wyoming each dropped one rig, BKR data show.

U.S. petroleum demand continued to march higher in the week-earlier period as production held steady, leaving crude stockpiles far below historic averages, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its latest Weekly Petroleum Status Report earlier in the week.

Demand rose 4% week/week to average 22.7 million b/d during the week ended Feb. 11, aided by a 4% jump in jet fuel consumption, the agency said.

Travel fuel consumption – including demand for gasoline and diesel — is expected to accelerate further as spring weather arrives and the effects of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus ebb, Rystad Energy analysts said. This could play out domestically and globally, according to the analysts.

“Global aviation staged a substantial uptick in the past week, which could signal further strength in the coming weeks,” said Rystad’s Claudio Galimberti, senior vice president.