The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is proposing expanding the geographic coverage of its monthly natural gas production survey and adding state-level data on crude oil and lease condensate production to better reflect the rapid growth and shifting location of gas and crude production.
EIA is seeking public comment on the proposed changes through July 7, it said in a notice published in the Federal Register Tuesday.
Currently, EIA's Monthly Natural Gas Production Report includes natural gas production data collected from a sample of 240 well operators in five states and the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico, which represented, as of December 2013, 66% of total U.S. gross gas production, down from 82% in 2007 when the survey began.
"Natural gas production has increased dramatically in some of the states outside the current EIA-914 survey -- for example, Pennsylvania and Colorado, both of which now out-produce two of the original EIA-914 areas, New Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico," EIA said. "The proposed collection of state-level data from an additional 14 states would raise the sample coverage for natural gas production to 92%."
In recent surveys the Other States category, which includes several shale-rich states, has been the only column consistently able to record significant production increases (see Daily GPI, May 1).
EIA is also proposing to collect crude oil and lease condensate production data for the same 19 states and the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico. EIA currently publishes state-level crude oil production data based on information reported to state oil and gas agencies and, where state data are not immediately available, EIA estimates production. "Long lags in state-level reporting have made it difficult to estimate oil production," EIA said. "Collecting data directly from well operators should provide more timely, consistent, routine and accurate production data."
The agency said the rapid rise in production from tight formations makes identifying shifts in the qualities of crude oil and lease condensate production increasingly important. "Collecting information on the API gravity of crude oil and lease condensate, and possibly the sulfur content, will provide a clearer picture of those shifts," EIA said.
Comments on the proposed changes should be sent to Neal Davis, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW, EI–24, Washington, DC 20585, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.