Natural gas production in the Lower 48 and Other States categories, which include some of the nation's most prolific shale plays, was up in February compared with January and with February 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Monthly Natural Gas Gross Production Report.
Production in the Lower 48 states was 73.22 Bcf/d, up 1.3% from 72.30 Bcf/d in January and 1.8% from 71.95 Bcf/d in February 2012, EIA said. Production from Other States was 24.87 Bcf/d in February, according to the report, a 2.1% increase from 24.35 Bcf/d in January and a whopping 14.9% from 21.65 Bcf/d in February 2012.
"Other States had the largest volume increase at 2.1%, or 0.52 Bcf/d, as new wells were brought online in the Marcellus and Bakken shales," EIA said.
EIA is considering breaking out monthly gas production data for several individual states currently lumped together into the Other States category to reveal more precisely production coming out of shale plays (see Shale Daily, April 3). The Marcellus Shale covers parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York, and it is considered to be the most productive shale gas basin in the country. The great bulk of production from the formation is in Pennsylvania. Booming shale production also is occurring in Texas and North Dakota.
Lower 48 marketed production was down 1.9% in February 2013 on an absolute basis year-over-year, but per day production was up 1.6% versus that in February 2012, because February 2012 had an extra day. Marketed production differs from the gross withdrawals, which includes flared gas and gas consumed at the point of production, and therefore is never made available to the consuming public.
Texas production hit 22.12 Bcf/d in February, a 1.4% increase from 21.82 Bcf/d in January and a marginal uptick from 22.02 Bcf/d in February 2012. The increase was due to new wells coming online in the Eagle Ford Shale, EIA said. Month-to-month increases in February from January were also reported in New Mexico (3.46 Bcf/d from 3.24); Oklahoma (5.69 Bcf/d from 5.68); and Wyoming (5.79 Bcf/d from 5.77).
The U.S. gas production total in February was 82.88 Bcf/d, an increase of 0.8% compared with 82.20 Bcf/d in January, and up 0.89 Bcf/d (1.1%) from 81.99 Bcf/d in February 2012.
Production in the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM) was 4.00 Bcf/d, a 2% decline from 4.08 Bcf/d in January and down 0.53 Bcf/d compared with February 2012, EIA said. Also seeing declines in February were Alaska (9.66 Bcf/d, down 2.4% compared with 9.90 Bcf/d in January) and Louisiana (7.29 Bcf/d, a 1% decline compared with 7.36 Bcf/d in January). EIA attributed the declines in the GOM and Louisiana to shut-ins prompted by repairs and well maintenance.