The U.S. natural gas rig count eased one unit lower to finish at 157 for the week ended Friday (April 14). A two-rig decline in oil drilling lowered the combined domestic tally to 748, down three units week/week, according to the latest figures from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).


Domestic declines for the period reflected a six-rig decline in land drilling, partially offset by the addition of three offshore rigs, including two in the Gulf of Mexico. Directional drilling declined by five rigs overall, with horizontal drilling down three. Partially offsetting was a five-rig increase in vertical units, according to BKR.

The combined 748 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 693 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data...