U.S. dry natural gas production was 2,210 Bcf (71.3 Bcf/d) in December, down 3.7% compared with 2,295 Bcf (74.0 Bcf/d) in December 2015, and the 10th consecutive month with a year/year decline, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
For all of 2016, domestic dry gas production was an estimated 26.5 Tcf (72.4 Bcf/d), down compared with the record 27.1 Tcf (74.2 Bcf/d) in 2015, but still greater than the 25.9 Tcf (71.0 Bcf/d) recorded in 2014, according to EIA's latest Natural Gas Monthly report.
Production estimates are based on data from the EIA-914, Monthly Crude Oil, Lease Condensate, and Natural Gas Production Report.
Consumption, on the other hand, was up year/year, reaching 2,865 Bcf (92.4 Bcf/d) in December, compared with 2,591 Bcf (83.6 Bcf/d) in December 2015. Dry gas consumption was the second highest for December since EIA began tracking it in 2001, the agency said. Consumption ended the year at 27.5 Tcf (75.1 Bcf/d), an increase from 27.3 Tcf (74.7 Bcf/d) in 2015.
Year-over-year total consumption of dry natural gas in December increased in three of the four consuming sectors. Residential deliveries were 797 Bcf (25.7 Bcf/d), a 34.9% increase compared with December 2015; commercial deliveries were 464 Bcf (15.0 Bcf/d), a 31.8% increase; and industrial deliveries were 731 Bcf (23.6 Bcf/d), an 8.3% increase and the highest for December since EIA began tracking them in 2001.
Electric power deliveries were 669 Bcf (21.6 Bcf/d), a 13.2% decrease from December, EIA said.
Net imports of natural gas were just 31 Bcf in December, less than half of the 66 Bcf EIA reported for December 2015, with the number driven lower in large part by 109.7 Bcf of exports to Mexico via pipelines and another 96.4 Bcf being piped to Canada. Total pipeline exports to the two countries in 2016 was 2.12 Tcf -- about two-thirds of it going to Mexico -- a significant increase from 1.75 Tcf in 2015, according to EIA data.