Marcellus, Utica production leads U.S. natgas growth

U.S. dry natural gas production averaged 73.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, up 1.0% from 2016, and reversing the 2016 production decline, the Energy Information Administration reports in its just-released Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

“The strongest growth in dry natural gas production occurred late in the year, as improved economics related to expanded pipeline capacity contributed to a 3.8% increase in production between the third and fourth quarters of 2017,” STEO states.

The rate of production growth is expected to moderate in 2018, as EIA/STEO expects dry natural gas production to rise by 6.9 Bcf/d (9.3%) in 2018, and 2.6 Bcf/d (3.2%) in 2019.

If realized, the forecast 6.9 Bcf/d increase this year would be the highest on record. Growth is expected to be concentrated in Appalachia’s Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, along with the Permian Basin, Kallanish Energy learns.

“Much of the expected increase in natural gas production is the result of increasing pipeline takeaway capacity out of the Appalachia producing region to end-use markets,” according to EIA. “The greater pipeline connectivity contributes to higher wellhead natural gas prices for producers and is expected to encourage production growth.”

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