Natural gas-directed drilling activity held steady in the United States for the week ended Friday (Feb. 23) at 120 rigs, down one week/week, while an uptick in oil drilling lifted the combined domestic tally five units to 626, updated Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) data show.

Total domestic natural gas rigs ended the period down 31 from year-earlier levels. The combined 626 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 753 running at the same time a year ago, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

Land drilling increased by four rigs domestically, while one rig was added in the Gulf of Mexico. Domestic drilling gains for the period included three vertical rigs and two directional rigs, according to BKR.

The Canadian rig count dropped three rigs...