US natural gas output up record amount in March

Bentek Energy

Spurred on by the top three highest producing days in US history, domestic natural gas production in the Lower 48 states averaged 66.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/day) in March 2014, according to the latest estimates from Bentek Energy, the oil and natural gas analytic unit of Platts. Production levels on March 29, 30, and 31 all came in at 67.6 Bcf/d, the single highest production days since Nov. 9, 2013. March 28 production came in just 0.1 Bcf/d shy of these levels.

Average March 2014 gas production was up 1.0 Bcf/d or 1.5% from February 2014 and up 2.5 Bcf/d (4.0%) versus levels seen in March 2013.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) will publish its domestic production estimates for March on or around May 31.    

“The last week of March was remarkable from a supply perspective and is a reflection of US producers’ resilience in the face of strong gas demand faced by the nation this year,” said Jack Weixel, Bentek Energy director of energy analysis. “Production in the Northeast basins like Marcellus and Utica are up 44% this March versus last March alone. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Northeast is the new center of the gas universe for North America.”

For 2013 as a whole, US natural gas production averaged 64.8 Bcf/d, up more than 1.2 Bcf/d higher or 1.9% higher than the 2012 average of 63.6 Bcf/d. Bentek data analysis suggests 2014 production will average approximately 68.0 Bcf/d due to a higher overall price environment for producers and continued growth in liquids-rich basins such as the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Permian and Greater Anadarko areas, in addition to continued increases in dry production in the Marcellus shale play.

The Bentek data analysis is based on an extensive sample of near real-time production receipt data from the US Lower 48 interstate pipeline system. Platts’ Bentek production models are highly correlated with, and provide an advance glimpse of, federal government statistics from the US EIA. 

This Bentek Energy US natural gas production data estimate will be published on the first Tuesday of every month, covering the previous month’s output activity. Bentek’s dry gas production estimates are not observed data and are based on pipeline receipt nominations and certain state production data.

Bentek Energy, which specializes in energy market analytics and is recognized as an industry leader in natural gas market fundamental analysis, was acquired by Platts in 2011.

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