The U.S. natural gas rig count rose two units to finish at 101 during the week ended Friday, a week that also saw a notable uptick in drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), according to updated data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

Weekly US Oil & Gas Drilling Summary

Drilling gains in the United States for the week were split evenly between natural gas-directed rigs and oil-directed units, which also increased by two. The combined U.S. rig count finished at 479 as of Friday compared with 258 at this time last year, according to the BKR numbers, which are based in part on data from Enverus.

The GOM saw a three-rig increase for the week to reach 17 rigs overall, improving on its count of 12 from a year earlier. Two rigs were added on land in the United States, while one rig departed...