The U.S. natural gas rig count rose six units to 156 for the week ended Friday (Jan. 20), while a sharp pullback in the oil patch saw the combined domestic tally drop four units to 771, the latest figures from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) show.


The increase in natural gas rigs only partially offset a 10-rig decline in U.S. oil-directed drilling for the period. Land drilling declined by one rig overall, while the Gulf of Mexico count fell three units to end at 16. Vertical rigs dropped four units week/week, while directional and horizontal rig totals were unchanged domestically.

The combined 771 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 604 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

Canada’s rig count,...