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EIA: 'Other States' Again Bolsters U.S. NatGas Production

Total U.S. natural gas production was nearly flat in August compared to the previous month, but in the Other States category, which includes shale-heavy Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, output reached 27.02 Bcf/d, a 2.4% increase from 26.38 Bcf/d in July and a whopping 17.1% increase from 23.08 Bcf/d in August 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Monthly Natural Gas Gross Production Report.

Total U.S. natural gas production in August was 82.28 Bcf/d, down 0.2% compared to 82.42 Bcf/d in July but up 7.4% compared with 76.58 Bcf/d in August 2012, EIA said.

Production in the Other States category was boosted by new wells coming online in the Marcellus Shale, EIA said. Production in Texas, which was 23.00 Bcf/d in August, up 0.6% compared with 22.86 Bcf/d in July, increased primarily because of production from new wells in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin.

Also posting production increases compared to July were Oklahoma (5.98 Bcf/d, a 0.6% increase) and the Lower 48 overall (74.82 Bcf/d, a 0.3% increase).

Louisiana showed the largest volumetric decrease (6.09 Bcf/d, a 5.1% decrease from 6.42 Bcf/d in July), "as many operators reported maintenance issues and normal well decline," EIA said. The Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico reported 3.36 Bcf/d production in August, down 5.6% from the 3.56 Bcf/d in July, due to shut-ins for platform and pipeline maintenance. Also showing declines compared to July were Wyoming (5.61 Bcf/d, down 1.2%) and Alaska (7.46 Bcf/d, down 4.4%). Production in Mexico was 3.76 Bcf/d, unchanged compared to July.

"The data confirm that Lower 48 production is unlikely to tip into declines this year but instead is on a robust growth trajectory. Year to date, gross withdrawals have averaged 1.2 Bcf/d higher than last year," according to Barclays analysts Biliana Pehlivanova and Shiyang Wang. Next month's EIA report, which will include data from September, "could show some weakness as output was affected by temporary disruptions such as widespread heavy pipeline and well maintenance, processing plant outages, floods in Colorado, and Tropical Storm Karen," the analysts said.

EIA also issued revised production figures for several categories for July (see Daily GPI, Oct. 1) and other months dating back as far as March 2013. Revised were the July production numbers for Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (to 3.56 Bcf/d), Oklahoma (to 5.96 Bcf/d), Texas (to 22.86 Bcf/d), Wyoming (to 5.68 Bcf/d), Other States (to 26.38 Bcf/d), Lower 48 states (to 74.72 Bcf/d) and U.S. total (to 82.42 Bcf/d). June revisions were for Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (to 3.45 Bcf/d), Louisiana (to 6.49 Bcf/d), Oklahoma (to 5.87 Bcf/d), Lower 48 states (to 74.01 Bcf/d) and U.S. total (to 81.81 Bcf/d).

Also revised were the May production numbers for Texas (to 22.71 Bcf/d), Lower 48 states (to 73.78 Bcf/d) and U.S. total (to 82.20 Bcf/d); and the March production numbers for Louisiana (to 6.96 Bcf/d), Oklahoma (to 5.71 Bcf/d), Texas (to 22.11 Bcf/d) and Lower 48 states (to 72.67 Bcf/d).

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