The U.S. natural gas rig count eased one unit lower to make it an even 100 for the week ended Friday (Sept. 17), while higher drilling totals in the oil patch saw the overall domestic tally climb sharply for the period, the latest figures from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) show.

A 10-rig increase in oil-directed drilling offset the one-rig decline in natural gas rigs in the United States for the period. The combined U.S. rig count closed out the week nine units higher at 512, up from 255 rigs running in the year-ago period, according to the BKR numbers, which are based partly on data from Enverus.

Land drilling increased by eight units overall for the week, while one rig was added in inland waters. In the wake of Hurricane Ida, the Gulf of Mexico rig count continued to languish at only four rigs, a fraction of pre-storm levels. Five horizontal rigs were added domestically, along with three vertical rigs and one directional unit, according to BKR.

The Canadian rig count, meanwhile, climbed 11 units week/week to end at 154, including increases of eight oil-directed rigs and three natural gas-directed rigs. The Canadian count finished the period 90 rigs ahead of its year-ago total of 64.

Broken down by major play, the Permian Basin posted the largest week/week change, picking up five rigs to up its tally to 259, more than double the 123 rigs running there at this time last year. The Eagle Ford Shale picked up two rigs during the week, while the Cana Woodford and Marcellus Shale each added one. The gassy Haynesville Shale, meanwhile, dropped one rig from its total to close out the week with 47 active rigs.

In the state-by-state breakdown, Texas picked up four rigs week/week, while Oklahoma added three and New Mexico added two. Pennsylvania posted a net increase of one rig for the period, while Utah and West Virginia each dropped one rig overall, according to BKR.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said recently it expects continued tightening of the global oil market this month, driven by factors on both the supply and demand sides of the equation. The global energy watchdog said it now expects global oil demand to rise by 5.2 million b/d this year, and by 3.2 million b/d in 2022.

“Global oil demand is estimated to have declined for three straight months due to a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Asia,” IEA researchers said. “Already signs are emerging of Covid cases abating with demand now expected to rebound by a sharp 1.6 million b/d in October, and continuing to grow until end-year.”

World oil supply dropped by 540,000 b/d month/month in August to 96,100 b/d, the IEA team said, and is expected to stay flat in September. Researchers explained that unplanned outages have offset supply increases from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, aka OPEC-plus.