Natural gas production, consumption hit record highs in 2019

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 252 views 

U.S. natural gas production, consumption and gross exports rose to record levels in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Data recently released in EIA’s Natural Gas Annual shows dry natural gas production rose by 10% to a record-high average of 93.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2019. U.S. natural gas consumption increased by 3%, and the increase could be attributed to the greater use of natural gas in the electric power sector. Natural gas gross exports rose 29% to 12.8 billion cubic feet per day.

The electric power sector consumed 7% more natural gas in 2019 than in 2018. Electric power sector consumption increased because of favorable natural gas prices and ongoing coal plant retirements. Natural gas consumption in all other sectors was flat.

The volume of natural gas exports in pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose for the fifth consecutive year to an average of 12.8 billion cubic feet per day in 2019. U.S. LNG exports contributed to the majority of the increase.

The United States exported more natural gas than it imported in 2019, and net natural gas exports were an average of 5.2 billion cubic feet per day. In 2019, the United States also exported more natural gas by pipeline than it imported for the first time since at least 1985, and this could be attributed to an increase in pipeline capacity to send natural gas to Canada and Mexico.

In 2019, dry natural gas production rose by 10%, or by 8.7 billion cubic feet per day, to a record of 93.1 billion cubic feet per day. The increase was the second-largest volumetric increase since at least 1930 and second only to the increase in 2018.

Texas and Pennsylvania produce the most natural gas in the United States, and they had the largest increases in natural gas production in 2019. In Texas, dry natural gas production rose 15%, from 19.3 billion cubic feet per day in 2018 to 22.2 billion cubic feet per day in 2019. In Pennsylvania, the production rose 10%, from 16.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2018 to 18.6 billion cubic feet per day in 2019. In Wyoming, natural gas production declined 11%, from 4.3 billion cubic feet per day in 2018 to 3.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2019. The decrease was the largest year-over-year decline of any state last year.

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