A slowdown in oil-directed drilling sent the U.S. rig count tumbling seven units lower to 753 for the week ended Friday (Feb. 24), according to updated figures from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).


Total U.S. natural gas-directed rigs were unchanged week/week at 151, with oil-directed rigs accounting for the entirety of the overall domestic declines. Land drilling fell seven units week/week, while the Gulf of Mexico count was unchanged at 17. Total horizontal rigs declined by seven, along with a decline of two vertical units. Partially offsetting was a two-rig increase in directional drilling.

The combined 753 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 650 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data...