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US gross gas output hits record in September: EIA

30 Nov 2017 20:25 GMT
US gross gas output hits record in September: EIA

Houston, 30 November (Argus) — US natural gas production hit a record high in September as output climbed from key producing states such as Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

Gross output from the lower 48 states, which includes some volumes that do not reach market, increased to 83.4 Bcf/d (2.4bn m³/d), up by 1.4 Bcf/d, or 1.7pc from August, the US Energy Information Administration said today in its monthly production report. September production was up by 5pc from a year earlier and 1.1pc higher than the previous record reached in March 2015.

Gas production has risen this year as higher prices and gains in operational efficiencies spurred a rebound in drilling. Prompt-month natural gas prices — which dropped to a 17-year low in spring 2016 below $1.65/mmBtu — have climbed above $3/mmBtu this month on below-average inventories, rising exports and the prospect that this winter will be colder than last. Last week, the US gas rig count, a bellwether for where production is headed, reached 176, up by nearly 50pc from a year earlier, according to Baker Hughes.

Louisiana, home to part of the prolific Haynesville shale, posted the biggest month-over-month increase in gas output. Production there rose to 6.3 Bcf/d, up by 6.6pc from August and a third higher than a year earlier, the EIA said. Output from Texas, the largest producing state by volume, rose in September to 21.9 Bcf/d, an increase of 1.4pc from the prior month and 0.5pc from September 2016.

Production from Ohio and Pennsylvania, which sit atop portions of the Marcellus and Utica shales, rose month over month by 3.3pc and 2pc respectively. Pennsylvania output topped 14.8 Bcf/d, up by 5.2pc from a year earlier, while Ohio production rose to 5.3 Bcf/d, up by nearly a third, the EIA said.

Output from the US Gulf of Mexico increased in September as producer returned shuttered production following Hurricane Harvey. Gulf production reached about 3 Bcf/d, up by 3.5pc from August but 5.2pc lower than a year earlier.