Extending a multi-week stretch of steep cuts to domestic drilling activity, the U.S. rig count plunged 15 units to 696 for the week ended Friday (June 2) amid a slowdown in the oil patch, according to the latest numbers from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

Natural gas-directed drilling was unchanged domestically for the period, with oil-directed drilling accounting for the entirety of the latest double-digit decline in BKR’s rig count. 

Retrenchment has been the overriding theme in recent BKR rig numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus. BKR notably reported a sudden 16-rig decline in natural gas rigs one week last month, and the combined U.S. count has now plummeted nearly 60 units since late April.

For the latest round of cuts, all of the declines occurred on land,...