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Domestic Dry NatGas Production Up Yet Again in November, EIA Says

Domestic dry natural gas production was 2.19 Tcf (72.9 Bcf/d) in November, a 6.2% increase from November 2013, continuing a stretch of year-to-year increases dating back 21 months, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

Dry gas production through the first 11 months of 2014 was 23.4 Tcf, up 1.09 Tcf compared with the first 11 months of 2013 and 1.37 Tcf more than the first 11 months of 2012, according to EIA's latest Monthly Energy Review. Natural gas production in the Lower 48 was up marginally in November to 81.54 Bcf/d, with the latest in a long string of impressive months in the shale-rich Other States category overcoming month-to-month downturns or nearly flat performances in several other areas (see Daily GPIFeb. 3).

Consumption of natural gas in increased in November too, though not at the same pace as production, reaching 2.38 Tcf (79.1 Bcf/d), a 2.5% increase compared with 2.32 Tcf (77.2 Bcf/d) in November 2013, EIA said. Consumption by power generators increased marginally compared to November 2013 to reach 599 Bcf (19.9 Bcf/d), followed by residential (541 Bcf, or 18.0 Bcf/d, up 4.2% from the previous year) and commercial (360 Bcf, or 12 Bcf/d, a 4.9% increase). Industrial consumption was 794 Bcf (26.5 Bcf/d) in November, down 4.5% compared with 831 Bcf (27.7 Bcf/d) in November 2013.

Gross withdrawals for November were estimated at 2.73 Tcf, an 8.6% increase compared with 2.51 Tcf in November 2013. Marketed production was estimated at 2.32 Tcf, up 6.7% compared with 2.17 in November 2013. EIA recently said it expects natural gas marketed production to increase 2.9 Bcf/d (3.8%) this year and 1.7 Bcf/d (2.2%) next year (see Daily GPIFeb. 10).

The agency said total U.S. natural gas imports were 228 Bcf in November, compared with 219 Bcf a year earlier, while exports were 113 Bcf, versus 114 Bcf in November 2013.

EIA has forecast monthly average natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub to remain below $3.00/MMBtu through the winter, average $3.05/MMBtu in 2015, and average $3.47/MMBtu in 2016. Henry Hub natural gas spot prices averaged $2.99/MMBtu in January, down 49 cents from December and the first sub-$3.00 month since September 2012, EIA said.

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