US natural gas production grew by 9.8 billion ft3/d in 2019, a 10% increase from 2018. The increase was slightly less than the 2018 annual increase of 10.5 billion ft3/d. US natural gas production measured as gross withdrawals (the most comprehensive measure of natural gas production) averaged 111.5 billion ft3/d in 2019, the highest volume on record, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production Report. US natural gas production, when measured as marketed natural gas production and dry natural gas production, also reached new highs at 99.2 billion ft3/d and 92.2 billion ft3/d, respectively.
US natural gas gross withdrawals recorded a monthly high of 116.8 billion ft3/d in November 2019. Marketed natural gas production and dry natural gas production also reached monthly record highs of 103.6 billion ft3/d and 96.4 billion ft3/d, respectively, in November 2019. Gross withdrawals are the largest of the three measures because they include all natural gas plant liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases after oil, lease condensate, and water have been removed. Marketed natural gas production reflects gross withdrawals less natural gas used for repressuring wells, quantities vented or flared, and nonhydrocarbon gases removed in treating or processing operations. Dry natural gas is consumer-grade natural gas, or marketed production less natural gas liquids extracted.
As natural gas production increased, the volume of natural gas exports – both through pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG) – increased for the fifth consecutive year to an annual average of 12.8 billion ft3/d. LNG exports accounted for 2.0 billion ft3/d of the 2.9 billion ft3/d increase in gross natural gas exports in 2019. Both pipeline and LNG gross exports of natural gas reached record monthly highs in December 2019 of 8.4 billion ft3/d and 7.1 billion ft3/d, respectively.
The United States continued to export more natural gas than it imported in 2019, and net natural gas exports averaged 5.2 billion ft3/d. In 2019, the US also exported more natural gas by pipeline than it imported for the first time since at least 1985, mainly because of increased pipeline capacity to send natural gas to Canada and Mexico.
The Appalachian region remains the largest natural gas producing region in the United States. Appalachian natural gas production from the Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant shales of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania continues to grow; gross withdrawals increased from 28.6 billion ft3/d in 2018 to 32.1 billion ft3/d in 2019. Within the Appalachian region, Pennsylvania had the largest increase in gross withdrawals of natural gas, increasing by 2.1 billion ft3/d in 2019 to reach 19.1 billion ft3/d.
Nationally, Pennsylvania’s increase was second to that of Texas, where gross withdrawals increased by 3.6 billion ft3/d to a record annual production of 28.0 billion ft3/d. Texas’s increase in natural gas production is mainly from development in the Permian Basin and Haynesville shale formations. According to EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report, natural gas production in the Permian Basin increased by 3.4 billion ft3/d in 2019, or 30%, and production in the Haynesville formation increased by 2.4 billion ft3/d, or 26% compared with the previous year.
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