The U.S. natural gas rig count rose one unit to 156 for the week ended Friday (Dec. 30), while the loss of one rig in the oil patch left the combined domestic tally unchanged at 779, according to updated figures from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).


Drilling totals on land and in the Gulf of Mexico both held flat for the period. A four-rig increase in directional rigs was offset by a four-rig decline in horizontal drilling.

The combined 779 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 586 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

The Canadian rig count fell 12 units to end the week at 84, down from 90 in the year-earlier period. Declines included seven oil-directed rigs and five natural gas-directed...