Bloomberg News

U.S. Natural Gas Output Rises to Highest Since January 2005

August 30, 2011

(Updates with analyst comments in third paragraph.)

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. natural gas production in the lower 48 states increased 0.1 percent in June to the highest level since at least 2005, the Energy Department said.

Production rose to 69.47 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 69.39 billion in May, the department’s Energy Information Administration said today in a monthly report known as EIA-914. That’s the highest level since department began collecting monthly lower-48 data in January 2005.

“Rising production is going to add pressure on gas prices,” said James Williams, an economist at WTRG Economics, an energy research firm in London, Arkansas. “Production will probably remain at a high level with the rig count staying around 900.”

The number of U.S. gas drilling rigs dropped 2 last week to 898, according to Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc.

Natural gas for October delivery gained 7.9 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $3.909 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have dropped 11 percent this year.

Total U.S. production, including Alaska, dropped 0.4 percent to 77.75 billion cubic feet from a revised 78.08 billion.

Output from federal offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico declined 4.3 percent to 5.07 billion cubic feet a day and production in Texas fell 1.1 percent to 21.76 billion. Wyoming gained 1.4 percent to 6.51 billion cubic feet a day and Oklahoma increased 2 percent to 5.21 billion.

The EIA-914 report covers gas gross withdrawals, which include gas used for repressuring, quantities vented and flared, and non-hydrocarbon gas removed in treating or processing operations.

--Editors: Dan Stets, Bill Banker

To contact the reporter on this story: Moming Zhou in New York at Mzhou29@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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