U.S. natural gas production continued its steady decline through November, totaling 27.22 Tcf for the first 11 months of 2012, compared with 25.94 Tcf during the same period in 2011 and 24.42 Tcf in 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review for February. Marketed production (23.17 Tcf, compared with 21.90 Tcf in 2011) and dry gas production (21.98 Tcf, compared with 20.87 Tcf) were also up during the 11-month period, EIA said.

Total gross withdrawals of domestic natural gas jumped to 28.48 Tcf in 2011, a 6.2% increase from 26.82 Tcf in 2010, and when final 2012 numbers are released by EIA next month, are expected to have increased significantly for the year.

Net imports of natural gas were down, totaling 1.42 Tcf through November, compared with 1.80 Tcf in the first 11 months of 2011 and 2.39 Tcf in the first 11 months of 2010.

Natural gas from both the United States and Western Canada will feed about 30 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to international markets by 2025, according to one LNG analyst (see Daily GPI, Feb. 20). The largest importer of U.S. natural gas currently is Canada, which took in 870 Bcf in the first 11 months of 2011, followed by Mexico (568 Bcf) and Japan (14 Bcf), EIA said.

Domestic consumption was on the rise, reaching 22.99 Tcf in November, compared with 21.86 Tcf in 2011 and 21.37 Tcf in 2010. Residential sector consumption was 3.51 Tcf during the period, down sharply from 4.03 Tcf in the first 11 months of 2011, and commercial consumption was down as well, reaching 2.52 Tcf through November, compared with 2.76 Tcf a year earlier.

But natural gas use in the electric power sector surged last year, reaching 8.55 Tcf through November, up 22.8% from 6.96 Tcf in the first 11 months of 2011, EIA said.

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