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Shale States Keep Pushing U.S. NatGas Production Higher, EIA Says

Two shale-rich states helped push total U.S. natural gas production to 2.82 Tcf, and dry gas production reached 2.29 Tcf (74 Bcf/d) in March, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Total dry gas production during the first three months of 2016 was 6.77 Tcf, according to EIA's latest Natural Gas Monthly report, compared with 6.61 Tcf during the same period last year and 6.08 Tcf in the first quarter of 2014.

Dry gas production was 2.18 Tcf in February, a 5.8% increase, compared with 2.06 Tcf in February 2015, and dry gas production in January reached 2.30 Tcf, the highest for any January since EIA began reporting such data in 1973 (see Daily GPIApril 1;May 25).

Several production records were set last year, and the 2015 total ballooned to 27.09 Tcf, a 5.3% increase compared with 25.73 Tcf in 2014 (see Daily GPI, March 1).

Total U.S. natural gas production was 2.82 Tcf in March, compared with 2.81 Tcf in March 2015, EIA said. Alaska reported 295.24 Bcf (from 299.99 Bcf in March 2015); Louisiana, 154.63 Bcf (from 168.28 Bcf); Oklahoma, 212.61 Bcf ( from 216.07 Bcf); New Mexico, 109.11 Bcf (from 109.37 Bcf); Texas, 700.74 Bcf (from 746.69 Bcf); Wyoming, 155.77 Bcf (from 164.69 Bcf); and Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, 110.42 Bcf (up sharply from 99.30 Bcf).

Two shale-rich states in the Northeast, home to the Marcellus and Utica shales, did their part to erase decreases reported in other areas.

Pennsylvania reported a whopping 454.78 Bcf in March, up from 408.93 Bcf in March 2015, and Ohio reported 120.75 Bcf, from 69.67 Bcf a year earlier. Other states formerly grouped in EIA's "other states" category (see Daily GPI, June 30, 2015) were Arkansas (74.50 Bcf), California (18.24 Bcf), Colorado (143.29 Bcf), Kansas (22.18 Bcf), Montana (4.42 Bcf), North Dakota (51.93 Bcf), Utah (33.15 Bcf) and West Virginia (112.50 Bcf). The diminished “other states” category reported 48.61 Bcf.

Consumption of dry natural gas in March, which also hit record marks at times in 2015, was 2.38 Tcf (76.6 Bcf/d), a 9.2% decrease compared with 2.62 Tcf in March 2015. The 8.20 Tcf total for the first three months of 2016 was down compared with 8.70 Tcf during January, February and March 2015.

Electric power deliveries in March were 740 Bcf (23.9 Bcf/d), a 4.4% increase from 22.9 Bcf/d in March 2015. Industrial deliveries were 668 Bcf (21.5 Bcf/d), a 0.8% increase from March 2015. In a continuation of a lengthy downward trend, deliveries to residential consumers fell to 457 Bcf, (14.7 Bcf/d), down 28.3% from March 2015, and commercial deliveries were 299 Bcf (9.6 Bcf/d), a 23.1% decrease from March 2015.

Net imports of natural gas were just 44 Bcf for March, compared with 93 Bcf a year ago.

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