US natural gas production in October hits new high

Natural gas production in the US Lower 48 states averaged 69.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in October, breaking its previous monthly average high for the 10th consecutive month, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts. This was up 7.9% or 5.2 Bcf/d from the daily average production this time a year ago.

To date, since Oct. 23, production has sustained a level above the 70 Bcf/d and on Oct. 24 hit a single-day record high of 70.9 Bcf/d. Average October 2014 gas production is 0.7 Bcf/d higher than levels seen in September 2014, a 1.0% increase.

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

"The current level of production is unchartered territory for the domestic natural gas market and shows no signs of slowing," said Jack Weixel, director of energy analysis for Bentek. "With six expansion projects in the Northeast coming online this week that will directly increase production takeaway capacity in the region, we should crest the 71 Bcf/d milestone, and possibly the 72 Bcf/d level sometime during the month of November."

Bentek data analysis suggests 2014 production will average approximately 67.9 Bcf/d due to a higher overall price environment for producers and continued growth in liquids-rich basins such as the Utica, Eagle Ford, Bakken, Permian, and Greater Anadarko, in addition to continued increases in dry production in the Marcellus.

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.


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