Natural gas production in the US reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) last year.
That’s a 5% increase from the previous year even though prices remained relatively low, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Production from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma and North Dakota was responsible for most of the growth, offsetting declines in much of the rest of the US.
The five states accounted for 35% of total natural gas production.
It grew slightly (6%) in the Gulf of Mexico, reaching 3.6Bcf/d last year after declining for five consecutive years.
The EIA adds: “The long term decline in natural gas production from the Gulf of Mexico is likely the result of the higher cost of offshore production compared with onshore production. Historically, most Gulf of Mexico natural gas production has come from shallow water fields.”
Its Short Term Energy Outlook projects production growth will slow to 0.9% this year due to low natural gas prices and declining rig activity.
However, forecast production growth increases to 2.2% in 2017 as projected natural gas prices rise, industrial demand grows and liquefied natural gas exports increase.