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LNG Exports Rising But U.S. Dry NatGas Output Down Through August Year/Year, EIA Says

For a third consecutive month, U.S. dry natural gas production increased year/year (y/y) in August to 2.28 Tcf, a 1.6% increase from August 2016, but production through the first eight months of 2017 still trails last year, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Total domestic dry gas production through August was 17.55 Tcf, compared with 17.92 Tcf during the first eight months of 2016 and 18.02 Tcf during the same period of 2016, the EIA said in its latest Natural Gas Monthly report.

Production declines began early last year, and for full-year 2016, output fell to an estimated 26.5 Tcf (72.4 Bcf/d) from the record 27.1 Tcf (74.2 Bcf/d) in 2015, but still above the 25.9 Tcf (71.0 Bcf/d) recorded in 2014, according to EIA.

Output fell year/year during the first five months of 2017, but EIA reported year/year increases in June, July and now August.

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

Natural gas consumption also fell in August, reaching 2.08 Tcf, a 6% decline compared with 2.22 Tcf in August 2016. The year-to-date consumption total of 17.61 Tcf trails the 18.58 Tcf total through August 2016.

Year-over-year total dry gas consumption in August increased in three of the four consuming sectors, EIA said. From August 2016, residential deliveries increased to 105 Bcf from 100 Bcf; commercial deliveries increased marginally to 140 Bcf; and industrial deliveries increased from 627 Bcf in August 2016 to 635 Bcf, the highest for August since EIA began using the current definitions for consuming sectors in 2001.

Electric power deliveries, on the other hand, were 1.01 Tcf in August, a 12.7% decrease from 1.16 Tcf in August 2016, EIA said.

The United States, which has been a net importer of natural gas in recent months, had 0.9 Bcf of net imports in August, with total exports reaching 247.0 Bcf, compared with 214.2 Bcf in August 2016. Total gas imports in August were 238.0 Bcf, a decline from 242.0 Bcf a year earlier.

The United States in August exported 135.1 Bcf to Mexico via pipelines, compared with 132.4 Bcf in August 2016. It also exported 66.3 Bcf to Canada via pipelines, versus 55.0 Bcf in August 2016. Total liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports reached 45.5 Bcf in August, a significant increase from August 2016 when it exported 26.8 Bcf, EIA said.

"The increase in exports continues to be driven by liquefied natural gas," EIA said. "LNG exports in August 2017 were 70.2% higher than in August 2016."

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