Natural gas production falls 4.6% in February, rise expected this summer

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 121 views 

Natural gas production in the lower 48 states fell 4.6% or 3.4 billion cubic feet per day in February, compared to the same month in 2016, according to IHS Markit, an information and analytics company.

Production in February was 70.4 billion cubic feet per day. But compared to January, production in February improved slightly. In Texas, which saw several month-to-month declines throughout 2016, production rose 0.2 billion cubic feet per day in February. Also northern Louisiana, which includes the Haynesville shale formation, saw production rise 0.2 billion cubic feet per day. But these increases “were not enough to overcome sluggishness elsewhere,” according to IHS Markit.

“Northeast production remained flat this month,” Jack Weixel, vice president for analytics at PointLogic Energy, said in a news release. PointLogic, a business segment of IHS Markit, tracks daily production levels of 92 areas that produce natural gas in the lower 48 states. “The Gulf of Mexico was also to blame for stagnant production levels for the U.S. as a whole, falling 0.4 billion cubic feet per day in February due to a processing plant outage in the region and unrelated declines across four major pipelines that bring natural gas onshore.”

Higher natural gas prices have led to a rise in drilling rigs, which should translate into more production this summer. “Production has been low enough for long enough, that in order to meet this summer’s anticipated demand profile, a ramp up in production will be necessary,” Weixel said.