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NatGas Production, Led by Shale States, Soared Again in September, EIA Says

U.S. dry natural gas production in September continued a stretch of record breakers, reaching 2.29 Tcf (76.3 Bcf/d), the highest of any September since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began reporting such production data in 1973, the agency said.

Domestic dry gas production was up 5.8% compared with the 2.16 Tcf (72.01 Bcf/d) reported in September 2014, according to EIA's latest Natural Gas Monthly report.

EIA in two previous Natural Gas Monthly reports said dry gas production for July and August had also reached record high levels (see Daily GPINov. 2Oct. 1).

Through the first nine months of 2015, dry gas production was 20.38 Tcf, compared with 19.01 Tcf in the same period last year and 18.04 Tcf in the first nine months of 2013.

And consumption of dry natural gas in September was the highest on record for the month, EIA said, reaching 1.92 Tcf (64.0 Bcf/d), a 5.7% increase from 1.82 Tcf (3.4 Bcf/d) in September 2014. Through the first nine months of the year, consumption was 20.62 Tcf, compared with 19.72 Tcf at the same time last year and 19.05 Tcf at the same time in 2013.

But for the seventh consecutive month, year-over-year total consumption of natural gas decreased in three of the four consuming sectors, with the exception being electric power deliveries, EIA said. Electric power deliveries in September were 902 Bcf (30.0 Bcf/d), a 16.7% increase from 25.8 Bcf/d in September 2014. Deliveries to residential consumers were 108 Bcf, (3.6 Bcf/d), down 11.5% from September 2014. Commercial deliveries were 138 Bcf, (4.6 Bcf/d), a 7.4% decrease from September 2014, and industrial deliveries were 577 Bcf (19.2 Bcf/d), down 2.0% from September 2014.

Total U.S. natural gas production was 2.78 Tcf in September, compared with 2.62 Tcf in September 2014. Alaska reported 261.15 Bcf (up from 259.86 Bcf in September 2014), Louisiana, 164.30 (up from 160.61 Bcf); Oklahoma, 208.90 Bcf (up from 195.15 Bcf); New Mexico, 110.04 Bcf (up from 104.46 Bcf); Texas, 750.14 Bcf (up from 718.44 Bcf); Wyoming, 163.32 Bcf (down from 165.35 Bcf); and Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, 122.56 Bcf (up from 106.59 Bcf).

Robust production has helped natural gas storage inventories to soar to record highs in recent weeks. EIA last week reported a 9 Bcf injection for the week ending Nov. 20, which pushed inventories at a record level of 4,009 Bcf (see Daily GPINov. 25). That surpassed the previous record of 4,000 Bcf set just a week earlier and was 554 Bcf greater than last year and 252 Bcf more than the five-year average.

EIA this summer for the first time included in the monthly natural gas production survey state-level data from 10 states, including some shale-rich names previously grouped into its "other states" category (see Daily GPIJune 30). Production in those 10 states in September was led once again by Pennsylvania, home of the mighty Marcellus Shale, which reported 396.56 Bcf. Also formerly grouped in the Other States category were Arkansas (81.58 Bcf), California (18.89 Bcf), Colorado (138.87 Bcf), Kansas (23.89 Bcf), Montana (4.59 Bcf), North Dakota (47.83 Bcf), Ohio (89.24 Bcf), Utah (31.02 Bcf) and West Virginia (111.07 Bcf). The diminished Other States category reported 54.19 Bcf.

Net imports of natural gas were 46 Bcf for September, compared with 82 Bcf a year ago. Total net imports through the first nine months of 2015 were 750 Bcf, compared with 852 Bcf during the same period last year and 952 Bcf in the first eight months of 2013.

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