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EIA: Demand Up in May; Production Steady

Natural gas production from the Lower 48 states during May was essentially unchanged from April, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, while consumption during the month set a record.

Total gas consumption for May was 1,850 Bcf, which set a new May record, EIA said. This was an increase of 11% over the previous May record set in 2011. "Deliveries of natural gas to the electric power sector of 819 Bcf drove the trend, reflecting continued displacement of coal with natural gas."

Total U.S. production in May was 81.51 Bcf/d, a decrease of 0.1% from a revised 81.56 Bcf/d in April.

Overall, Lower 48 natural gas production was 72.39 Bcf/d in May, up 0.01% from the revised figure for April of 72.38 Bcf/d, EIA said in its monthly gas production report. However, some states/areas posted higher production increases. The "other" states category posted the largest increase at 1.5%, or 0.33 Bcf/d, producing 22.41 Bcf/d during May.

"This increment can be partially explained by new wells being brought online in the Marcellus Shale play and gains in Colorado," EIA said. "Oklahoma also had a gain of 0.09 Bcf/d, or 1.7% [producing 5.52 Bcf/d], as new wells were brought online."

Louisiana posted a gain of 0.06 Bcf/d, a 0.7% increase from revised April figures, to produce 8.26 Bcf/d. New Mexico charted a gain of 0.02 Bcf/d, or a 0.6% increase from April, producing 3.59 Bcf/d.

Production declined in the Gulf of Mexico by 0.25 Bcf/d, or 5.5%; and in Wyoming by 0.19 Bcf/d, or 3%, partially due to shut-ins for platform and plant maintenance, EIA said. The federal offshore Gulf of Mexico produced 4.29 Bcf/d. Wyoming produced 6.11 Bcf/d during May.

Texas saw a production decline of 0.05 Bcf/d, or 0.2% to 22.21 Bcf/d, from April (see related story). And Alaska saw a decline of 0.06 Bcf/d, or 0.7%, to 9.12 Bcf/d.

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