The U.S. natural gas rig count rose two units to 157 for the week ended Friday (Nov. 18), while an uptick in the oil patch helped lift the combined domestic drilling total three units higher to 782, according to the latest tally from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).


Land drilling increased by four units in the United States for the week, partially offset by a one-rig decline in inland waters. The Gulf of Mexico count held flat at 16. Three horizontal rigs and one vertical rig were added, with total directional rigs down one week/week.

The combined 782 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 563 rigs active in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

The Canadian rig count, meanwhile, rose one unit for the week to reach 201, versus 167 in the year-ago period. Changes there included a two-rig increase in oil-directed drilling, partially offset by a decline of one natural gas-directed rig.

Looking at changes by major drilling region, BKR tallied one-rig increases in the Cana Woodford, Mississippian Lime and Williston Basin for the period. On the other side of the ledger, the Arkoma Woodford, Granite Wash, Haynesville Shale and Permian Basin each saw one-rig declines week/week.

Counting by state, Oklahoma and Texas each added two rigs for the period, while Utah added one. New Mexico dropped three rigs from its total to fall to 103 active rigs as of Friday, up from 83 in the year-earlier period.

The Haynesville and the Appalachian Basin will lead continued growth in domestic natural gas production from November to December, with output from seven key U.S. regions set to rise more than 500 MMcf/d month/month to nearly 96 Bcf/d, according to updated modeling published earlier in the week by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

EIA said it expects combined natural gas output from the Haynesville and Appalachia regions; the Anadarko and Permian basins; and the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Niobrara shales to reach 95.687 Bcf/d in December, a 564 MMcf/d sequential increase.

Total oil production from the seven regions will climb 91,000 b/d from November to December, reaching 9.191 million b/d, the agency said.