EIA’s Natural Gas Annual 2019 Reports Record Highs

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Natural Gas Annual 2019, released Oct. 5, 2020, shows that the United States set new records in natural gas production, consumption, and gross exports in 2019. During the year, dry natural gas production increased by 10%, reaching a record-high average of 93.1 Bcfd. At the same time, U.S. natural gas consumption increased by 3%, led by greater use of natural gas in the electric power sector. Natural gas gross exports increased 29% to 12.8 Bcfd.

Increased use of natural gas by the electric power sector drove U.S. natural gas consumption growth. The electric power sector consumed 7% more natural gas in 2019 than in 2018. Electric power sector consumption grew largely because of favorable natural gas prices and ongoing coal plant retirements. At the same time, natural gas consumption in all other sectors was relatively unchanged.

While U.S. natural gas production increased, the volume of natural gas exports—both through pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG)—increased for the fifth consecutive year to an annual average of 12.8 Bcfd. U.S. LNG exports accounted for most of this increase.

The U.S. continued to export more natural gas than it imported in 2019, and net natural gas exports averaged 5.2 Bcfd. In 2019, the U.S. also exported more natural gas by pipeline than it imported for the first time since at least 1985 (the earliest year in EIA’s natural gas pipeline trade data), mainly because of increased pipeline capacity to send natural gas to Canada and Mexico.

In 2019, dry natural gas production increased by 10%, or 8.7 Bcfd, reaching a record high of 93.1 Bcfd for the year. This increase was the second-largest volumetric increase since at least 1930 and second only to last year’s increase.

The two largest natural gas-producing states, Texas and Pennsylvania, also had the two largest increases in natural gas production in 2019. Texas annual average dry natural gas production increased 15%, from 19.3 Bcfd in 2018 to 22.2 Bcfd in 2019. Pennsylvania’s natural gas production increased 10%, from 16.9 Bcfd in 2018 to 18.6 Bcfd in 2019. Wyoming natural gas production decreased 11%, from 4.3 Bcfd in 2018 to 3.9 Bcfd in 2019. This decrease was the largest year-on-year decline of any state in 2019.

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, October 8, 2020. Weekly Propane Newsletter subscribers receive all the latest posted and spot prices from major terminals and refineries around the U.S. delivered to inboxes every week. Receive a center spread of posted prices with hundreds of postings updated each week, along with market analysis, insightful commentary, and much more not found elsewhere.