US natural gas production in December hits new record

Natural gas production in the US Lower 48 increased by 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during  December 2014, according to Bentek Energy, the Platts oil and gas analytics unit. Production averaged 72.8 Bcf/d in December 2014, the highest monthly average on record, and an 11.6% increase (7.5 Bcf/d) over daily average production levels in December 2013.

US production hit another one-day record high of 73.6 Bcf/d on Dec. 20, 2014, according to Bentek, and US Northeast production achieved a new one-day record of 19.8 Bcf/d on Dec. 19, 2014.

The US Energy Information Administration will publish its domestic production estimates for December 2014 on or around Feb. 28.

"The Northeast region, including the Marcellus and Utica shales, continues to lead the growth in natural gas production," said Catherine Bernardo, manager of energy analysis for Bentek. "The mild weather in December allowed volumes to continue to push higher during a time when production growth is typically curtailed due to freeze-offs. Infrastructure additions to the Northeast in November also facilitated this recent growth."

Bentek data analysis suggests that 2014 production averaged approximately 68.4 Bcf/d, driven primarily by extraordinary gains in the Northeast and continued growth in liquids-rich basins such as the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Permian, and Greater Anadarko shale plays.

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. 

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