March U.S. Natural Gas Production Falls; Hits 33-Month Low, IHS Markit Says

Thursday, April 6, 2017 12:55 pm EDT

Dateline:

HOUSTON
"Unlike just a few years ago when gas production trended steadily upward, recent U.S. natural gas production has spiraled downward for more than a year"

HOUSTON (Apr. 6, 2017) – Lower-48 U.S. natural gas production averaged just 70.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during March 2017, dropping monthly gas production to a low not seen in 33 months (since July 2014), according to analysis from IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions. In July 2014, U.S. natural gas production averaged 70.3 Bcf/d, but was on the rise due to a deficit of underground storage gas following a particularly cold winter. 

“Unlike just a few years ago when gas production trended steadily upward, recent U.S. natural gas production has spiraled downward for more than a year,” said Jack Weixel, vice president for analytics at PointLogic Energy, a business unit of IHS Markit, which tracks U.S. production levels on a daily basis across 92 producing areas in the lower-48 states. “Two warm winters in a row have moderated prices due to lackluster demand, and the market is waiting very patiently for a rebound. While average domestic natural gas demand was soft this past winter, increased exports from the U.S. this coming summer will put upward pressure on prices,” Weixel said. “Increased rig counts have not translated into elevated production levels yet, and this summer will be pivotal in determining just how large of a hole gas suppliers have to dig themselves out of.”

According to the IHS Markit monthly U.S. natural gas production analysis, March 2017 production was 0.7 percent below February 2017 levels. In the first quarter (Q1) of 2017, production has averaged 70.5 Bcf/d, with January and March setting new records in futility. When compared to Q1 2016 production, Q1 2017 U.S. natural gas production output is down 2.8 Bcf/d, or 3.8 percent. Of utmost concern to the market is the monthly reversal of fortune in several key producing areas.

After increasing by nearly 0.2 Bcf in February, Texas natural gas production fell more than 0.3 Bcf/d in March, and is now averaging 16.4 Bcf/d, the Lone Star state’s lowest gas production level since December 2009. The Southeast also gave back any gains seen in February, with both North and South Louisiana seeing the steepest declines in natural gas production.  

For the U.S. as a whole, March 2017 natural gas production levels are 4 percent lower (2.9 Bcf/d) than March 2016 levels. Moreover, compared to the high-water month of February 2016, domestic gas production is now 5 percent lower, or 3.7 Bcf/d. 

PointLogic Energy derives real-time natural gas production data from publicly available interstate pipeline flow data in the lower-48 United States. The energy division at IHS Markit provides market insight and analytics for North American power, gas, coal and renewables.  

To speak with Jack Weixel, or for more information on PointLogic Energy or IHS Markit natural gas data and analytics, please contact Melissa Manning at melissa.manning@ihsmarkit.com.      

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IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.  Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

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U.S. monthly natural gas production fell 5% in March 2017, compared to February 2016, hitting 33-month low, says IHS Markit