U.S. Production of Natural Gas Set to Boost by 2020

Offshore platforms

Offshore platforms. Credit: CC / Chad Teer

U.S. production of dry natural gas and crude oil is set to boost in 2019 and 2020, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report.

In the EIA’s recent Short-Term Energy Outlook, U.S. dry natural gas production will average 91.6 billion cubic feet (2.59 billion cubic meters) per day in 2019, which is up by 10% from the 2018 average, and will average 93.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/D) in 2020.

Meanwhile, EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production will average 12.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019, which is up by 1.3 million from the 2018 level. This is expected to rise by 0.9 million b/d in 2020 to an annual average of 13.2 million b/d.

In the context, EIA expected lesser growth of natural gas production in 2020, which is attributed to the delayed effect of low prices in the second half of 2019 that will reduce natural gas-directed drilling in 2020.

EIA also reported that U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.8 million b/d in July (the most recent month for which data are available), which was down by 0.3 million b/d from June. The decline in production was attributed to Hurricane Barry, which disrupted crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. crude oil production remained relatively flat during the first seven months of 2019, which was due to disruptions to the Gulf of Mexico platforms and slowing growth in tight oil production.

EIA expects growth to get better in the fourth quarter as production returns in the Gulf of Mexico and pipelines in the Permian Basin come online to link production areas in New Mexico and West Texas to refining and export centres on the Gulf Coast.

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