A modest gain in oil-directed drilling offset a small decline in natural gas activity to nudge the combined U.S. rig count one unit higher to 764 for the week ended Friday (Sept. 23), according to the latest tally from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

shale rigs

Oil-directed rigs increased by three overall in the United States for the week, while natural gas-directed rigs declined by two. The combined 764 active U.S. rigs as of Friday represents a 243-rig increase over year-earlier levels, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

Total land drilling was unchanged week/week, while the Gulf of Mexico added one rig overall to raise its total to 15. Vertical drilling increased by two rigs, while one directional rig was added for the period. Partially offsetting was a...