Natural gas production in the Lower 48 states, which in June had declined for the first time in 2010, increased 0.3% (0.17 Bcf/d) in July, according to the latest 914 production data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA production report for July — the latest month for which figures are available — shows that gas output increased to 64.38 Bcf/d from 64.21 Bcf/d in June and was well above July 2009’s level of 62.31 Bcf/d. EIA, which had previously reported 64.29 Bcf/d for June (see Daily GPI, Sept. 1) revised that figure downward by 0.08 Bcf/d to 64.21 Bcf/d, a 1.4% decline from May.

Total U.S. production — Lower 48 states, Gulf of Mexico and Alaska — fell 1.2% to 71.02 Bcf/d from 71.88 Bcf/d in the previous month, but it was still above the 70.21 Bcf/d production level that was reported in July 2009. Tropical storms, along with maintenance on wells, platforms and pipelines caused a 2% (0.12 Bcf/d) production decline in the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico in July — the fifth consecutive monthly decline — EIA said.

Production in Louisiana was unchanged at 6.13 Bcf/d in July after six consecutive months of increases and was considerably ahead of July 2009’s level of 4.18 Bcf/d, according to EIA. New Mexico, which had seen production decline 4% in June, bounced back with a 5.2% increase to 3.82 Bcf/d in July “as planned maintenance was completed and issues with wells were resolved,” EIA said.

Alaska output dropped 13.4% to 6.64 Bcf/d in July and lagged behind July 2009’s 7.90 Bcf/d. Wyoming’s production in July increased 0.8% to 6.58 Bcf/d from 6.53 Bcf/d in June. Oklahoma production in July fell 1% to 5 Bcf/d; Texas output increased 0.3% to 20.47 Bcf/d.

Gas production from other states, which EIA does not break out separately, was up 0.2% to 16.51 Bcf/d from June and was significantly above the 14.62 Bcf/d reported a year ago.

“Bears [will be] watching in coming months,” according to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities Inc., which said gas markets are oversupplied, “but not way oversupplied.”

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