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October Continues NatGas Production Declines, While Exports Higher to Mexico

Domestic dry natural gas production in October was down compared to October 2015, the eighth consecutive month of declines compared to the previous year period, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

At the same time, exports of U.S. natural gas to Mexico via pipelines grew to 127.4 Bcf, extending a streak of record highs dating back to May.

Dry gas production in October was 70.7 Bcf/d, a 4.7% decrease compared with 74.1 Bcf/d in October 2015, EIA said in its latest Natural Gas Monthly report, which was released Friday. Total U.S. dry gas production through the first 10 months of 2016 was 22.1 Tcf, compared with 22.5 Tcf in the same portion of 2015 and 21.4 Tcf in the same portion of 2014.

Consumption was also on a downward arc, hitting 62.2 Bcf/d in October, a 3.3% decline compared with 60.1 Bcf/d on October 2015, EIA said.

Year-over-year total consumption of dry natural gas in October decreased in three of the four consuming sectors. Residential deliveries were 189 Bcf (6.1 Bcf/d), a 6.0% decrease compared with October 2015; commercial deliveries were 193 Bcf (6.2 Bcf/d), a 1.0% decrease; and electric power deliveries were 741 Bcf (23.9 Bcf/d), a 7.1% decrease.

Deliveries to industrial consumers, on the other hand, were 625 Bcf (20.2 Bcf/d), a 1.8% increase from October 2015, "the highest for October since EIA began tracking them in 2001," the agency said.

Net imports of natural gas stumbled to just 30 Bcf in October, less than half of the 68 Bcf EIA reported for October 2015, with the number driven lower in large part by 127.4 Bcf of exports to Mexico via pipelines. It was the sixth consecutive month of record high pipeline exports to Mexico, according to EIA data.

Total U.S. natural gas exports in October were 200.21 Bcf, a 26% increase from 158.52 in October 2015, according to the report. Pipeline exports to Canada reached 69.79 Bcf in October, compared with 57.43 Bcf at the same time last year.

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