The U.S. natural gas rig count fell one unit to 160 for the week ended Friday (Aug. 12), helping to send the overall domestic tally one unit lower to 763, according to the latest Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) data.

rig count

Net changes domestically for the week included a three-rig increase in oil-directed drilling. However, a decline of three miscellaneous units, along with the loss of one rig in the natural gas patch, resulted in a net decline in the overall domestic count, according to the BKR numbers, which are based partly on data from Enverus. The 763 U.S. rigs running as of Friday compares with 501 rigs active in the year-earlier period.

Land drilling declined by four rigs for the week, partially offset by a two-rig increase in the Gulf of Mexico and the addition of one rig operating in inland waters. Horizontal rigs fell by five overall, while directional and vertical rigs each increased by two.

The Canadian rig count dropped two units to end the week at 201, versus 164 in the year-ago period. Net changes there included a decline of three oil-directed rigs, partially offset by a one-rig increase in natural gas-directed drilling.

Broken down by major drilling region, the Marcellus dropped three rigs from its total week/week, ending with 35 active rigs. That’s up from 29 in the year-earlier period. Elsewhere among plays, the Ardmore Woodford dropped two rigs week/week, while one-rig declines were recorded in the Arkoma Woodford, the Barnett Shale and the Permian Basin. Two rigs were added in the Cana Woodford, while the Utica Shale picked up one rig week/week, the BKR data show.

In the state-by-state count, Louisiana added two rigs for the period, while Oklahoma and West Virginia each added one. Pennsylvania saw a two-rig decrease week/week, while Alaska and Texas each dropped one from their respective totals, according to BKR.

Oil demand shows signs of waning as the global economy slows, bringing the world crude market close to balance, OPEC officials said in a new outlook released earlier in the week.

The Saudi Arabia-led cartel cut its world oil demand outlook by 260,000 b/d from an earlier forecast to about 100 million b/d for 2022. It held its expectation for next year to 102.7 million b/d.

Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its latest monthly outlook modeled global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels of 99.4 million b/d on average for this year, with consumption of 101.5 million b/d expected for next year.