Including a sharp decline in the Permian Basin, the U.S. rig count dropped three units to finish at 746 for the week ended Friday (March 10), according to the latest tally from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

shale rigs

Domestic declines for the period included two oil rigs and one natural gas-directed unit. Land drilling declined by one rig, with two rigs exiting the Gulf of Mexico for the week. Declines of three directional rigs and two vertical rigs were partially offset by a two-rig increase in horizontal drilling.

The combined 746 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 663 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus. The U.S. rig count has now fallen nearly 40 rigs since hitting a recent...