The U.S. natural gas rig count held steady at 151 for the week ended Friday (Feb. 24), while a slowdown in the oil patch dropped the combined domestic drilling total seven units to 753, according to the latest numbers from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

Land drilling fell seven units week/week, while the Gulf of Mexico count was unchanged at 17. Total horizontal rigs declined by seven, along with a decline of two vertical units. Partially offsetting was a two-rig increase in directional drilling.

The combined 753 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 650 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

The Canadian rig count dropped four units for the week to finish at 244, versus 224 in the year-ago period....