U.S. gas production to reach 100 Bcf/d in coming months

09 December 2022

Dry natural gas production in the U.S. is expected to average about 100 Bcf/d in the four month period from December through March, according to the latest Short Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The latest forecast production is down about 0.5 Bcf/d from November, a decline that stems from the possibility of extreme cold weather and freeze-offs similar to the cold snap that hit large portions of the U.S. in February 2021. A mild winter in natural gas producing regions would prevent the decline in production, the EIA noted.

Increasing drilling activity in the Hayesville region in Louisiana and East Texas and the Permian led to a growth in production in 2022. Additional pipeline expansions in these areas enabled producers to bring that additional gas to market. For the entire year, the EIA has predicted annual production to average 98 Bcf/d. Looking forward to 2023, the EIA has forecast production between 100 and 101 Bcf/d, about 2% more than 2022.

“We expect dry natural gas production in 2022 to set an annual record in the United States, averaging 98.0 Bcf/d,” the agency wrote.

Pipeline constraints and declining natural gas prices is expected to limit production. Natural gas prices at Henry Hub should average $5.62/MMBtu in the first half of 2023, compared with a forecast average of $6.34/MMBtu for December 2022.

Pipeline companies have announced that more expansion projects are scheduled to be complete in the second half of 2023. The EIA said its forecasts are based on the assumption that those projects come online as scheduled. If that does not occur, U.S. gas production will fall below its forecast.

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