Gas production to rise: EIA

THE latest short-term outlook from the US Energy Information Industry is tipping even higher domestic gas production records, even as producers move to drill liquids-rich prospects as the dry gas price continues to languish.
Gas production to rise: EIA Gas production to rise: EIA Gas production to rise: EIA Gas production to rise: EIA Gas production to rise: EIA

Chesapeake drilling in the US
Photo courtesy Chesapeake Energy

James McGrath

The report, released last night, said producers should start to benefit from a price uplift associated with an anticipated colder winter, driving household expenditure on oil and natural gas up 19% and 15% respectively.

This should drive natural gas production, with the EIA forecasting this year’s production to rise to a record 68.8 billion cubic feet per day, a 2.6Bcfd increase year on year.

But as operators continue to seek growth in liquids-rich drilling, the EIA said the rate of gas production would slow next year to a 0.4Bcfd rise year on year.

According to Baker Hughes, the natural gas drilling rig count was 437 in October down from 811 at the start of October.

It left its consumption outlook unchanged from the September forecast, with gas consumption to climb to 69.76Bcfd this year, but said demand would drop 0.2% in 2013.

It also expects the US to continue is move away from LNG imports, saying that imports should halve this year, and then remain steady next year.

It also tipped gas prices to rise, with henry hub spot prices to go up to $3.35 per million British thermal units from this year’s expected average of $2.71/mmbtu.

On the oil front, the EIA forecast Brent to hover between $112 per barrel this year and $103/bbl next year. However, it said the price of West Texas Intermediate should be relatively steady at $93/bbl.

It also said that oil consumption worldwide should grow by 800,000bopd in in 2012 and 900,000bopd in 2013.

Meanwhile, the great energy security story will continue with domestic crude production to increase by 3.3% this year from last to 5.7MMbbls.

It also forecast production to hit 6.3MMbls during 2013. If its prediction rings true, then the EIA said that the percentage of US demand made up of imported products will fall to less than 40% for the first time since 1991.

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