The U.S. natural gas rig count eased two units lower to 116 for the week ending Friday (Sept. 29), while declines in the oily Permian Basin sent the combined domestic tally tumbling seven units overall to 623, according to the latest count from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

Oil-directed drilling declined by five in the United States for the week. Land drilling decreased by eight rigs, partially offset by the addition of one rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which ended the period at 18 rigs. Declines included five horizontal rigs, alongside one directional rig and one vertical rig.

The combined 623 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 765 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are based partly on data from Enverus.

Canada, meanwhile, saw no...