A slowdown in both oil- and natural gas-directed drilling activity in the United States saw the domestic rig count drop four units to 780 for the week ended Friday (Dec. 9), according to the latest data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).


Total oil-directed rigs were down two domestically week/week, with natural gas-directed rigs also down two. Land drilling declined by three rigs, with one rig exiting from inland waters. Horizontal rigs in the United States were off three for the period, with directional rigs down two. Partially offsetting was the addition of one vertical rig, the BKR data show.

The combined 780 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 576 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on...