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U.S. Dry NatGas Output Slumps in November, With Residential Deliveries Off 5%-Plus, EIA Says

U.S. dry natural gas production fell 3% year/year in November to 2,155 Bcf, or 71.8 Bcf/d from 74.1 Bcf/d, the ninth consecutive monthly decline, as residential deliveries declined sharply, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Tuesday.

In the January edition of "Natural Gas Monthly,” preliminary gas data indicated November 2016 consumption was 2,162 Bcf, or 72.1 Bcf/d, which was a 4.1% decline, or 3.1 Bcf/d, from November 2015, when 2,255 Bcf was consumed. Dry gas consumption was the lowest for a November since 2011, EIA said.

The monthly production estimates are based on data from the EIA-914, Monthly Crude Oil, Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report.

Total dry gas consumption increased year/year in November in two of the four consuming sectors -- commercial and industrial deliveries -- while residential and electric power sector deliveries both declined.

In the commercial sector, deliveries rose year/year by 0.35% to 284 Bcf, or 9.47 Bcf/d from 9.43 Bcf/d in November 2015. Industrial deliveries climbed 1.1% to 646 Bcf, or 21.5 Bcf/d, from 21.3 Bcf/d.

Meanwhile, residential deliveries slumped 5.2% to 385 Bcf, or 12.8 Bcf/d, from 13.5 Bcf/d in November 2015. Residential deliveries were the lowest for a November since 2009, EIA said. Electric power deliveries also slumped from November 2015 by 10% to 663 Bcf, or 22.1 Bcf/d, from 24.6 Bcf/d.

"Despite the decrease, electric power deliveries were still the second highest for November since EIA began tracking them in 2001," EIA said.

In the previous report for October 2016, EIA said dry gas production fell from October 2015 by 4.7% to 70.7 Bcf/d from 74.1 Bcf/d. Total U.S. dry gas production through the first 10 months of 2016 was 22.1 Tcf, versus 22.5 Tcf through the same period of 2015 and 21.4 Tcf in the same period of 2014. Consumption was also on a downward arc, hitting 62.2 Bcf/d in October, a 3.3% decline from 60.1 Bcf/d in October 2015.

Residential deliveries last October dropped 6% year/year to 189 Bcf (6.1 Bcf/d) from October 2015; commercial deliveries fell 1% to 193 Bcf (6.2 Bcf/d). Electric power deliveries were 741 Bcf (23.9 Bcf/d), a 7.1% decrease year/year. Like in November, industrial demand rose, increasing 1.8% year/year to 625 Bcf (20.2 Bcf/d), "the highest for October since EIA began tracking them in 2001," the agency said.

In EIA's Drilling Productivity Report issued in mid-January, U.S. gas production was forecast to increase, exceeding estimates made in December. Gas production increases were expected in the Permian Basin, Haynesville, Marcellus and Utica shales and Niobrara formation. Gas output was expected to decline in the Eagle Ford and Bakken shales.

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