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Dry Gas Production Soars; Shales Push Marketed Output Higher Yet Again, EIA Says

Domestic dry gas production was at a record high for the eighth consecutive month in October, reaching 2.24 Tcf (72.2 Bcf/d), a 6.8% increase from October 2013, according to preliminary figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Dry gas production through the first 10 months of 2014 was 21.2 Tcf, up 983 Bcf compared with the first 10 months of 2013 and 1.21 Tcf more than the first 10 months of 2012, according to EIA's latest Natural Gas Monthly report.

Gross withdrawals for October were estimated at 2.78 Tcf, and increased from 2.67 Tcf in September and 2.56 Tcf in October 2013. Marketed production was estimated at 2.38 Tcf in October, up 4.1% from the revised figure for September (2.29 Tcf) and 7.6% higher than October 2013 (2.21 Tcf).

Marketed production continues to be pushed higher by Other States, the category that includes some of the nation's most productive shale plays, which reached 942.5 Bcf in October, up 18.5% from 795.1 Bcf in October 2013. Also showing increases compared with October 2013 were Alaska (29.3 Bcf, up from 28.4 Bcf), Oklahoma (202.9 Bcf, up from 185.6 Bcf), Texas (671.3 Bcf, up from 661.7 Bcf) and the Federal Gulf of Mexico (107.1 Bcf, up from 100.8 Bcf). Decreases were reported for Louisiana (165.7 Bcf, a decrease from 178.7 Bcf), New Mexico (103.9 Bcf, down from 104.2 Bcf) and Wyoming (155.0 Bcf, down from 156.9 Bcf).

EIA received approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in November to add state-level data from 10 states, including some of the most shale-rich names in the Other States category (see Daily GPI, Nov. 12). The new surveys, which collect state-level data from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia, are expected to begin this month, with resulting data likely to be released beginning by mid-2015.

Natural gas consumption soared in October as well, reaching 1.94 Tcf (62.6 Bcf/d), the highest on record for the month and a 3.9% increase compared with 1.87 Tcf (60.2 Bcf/d) in October 2013, EIA said. Consumption by power generators led the way, increasing 10% compared to October 2013 to reach 702 Bcf (22.6 Bcf/d), followed by residential (212 Bcf, or 6.8 Bcf/d, up 5% from the previous year), commercial (203 Bcf, or 6.5 Bcf/d, a 1% decrease) and industrial (611 Bcf, or 19.7 Bcf/d, unchanged).

The EIA said total U.S. natural gas imports were 220.9 Bcf in October, the vast bulk of which (213.9 Bcf) were through pipeline imports from Canada and Mexico. Trinidad and Tobago (4.29 Bcf) and Norway (2.62 Bcf) accounted for the rest. Total imports were up marginally from October 2013 (220.4 Bcf). Net U.S. natural gas imports for October totaled 106 Bcf, up 6.1% from October 2013 (98 Bcf). Total U.S. natural gas exports were 115.1 Bcf in October, down 6.0% from October 2013 (122.4 Bcf).

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