U.S. Natural Gas Production and Imports
Total marketed production of natural gas grew by 4.8 Bcf/d (7.9 percent) in 2011. This strong growth was driven in large part by increases in shale gas production. EIA expects continued year-over-year growth in 2012 of 2.5 Bcf/d. EIA, however, expects a small drop in production in the coming months, reflecting both expected losses from hurricanes (2012 Outlook for Hurricane-Related Production Outages in the Gulf of Mexico) and declines related to recent drops in the rig count.
According to Baker Hughes, the natural gas rig count was 498 as of August 3, 2012, compared with 811 at the start of 2012. While some declines in production have occurred so far in 2012, production remained flat from April to May. Declining production from less-profitable "dry" natural gas plays such as the Haynesville Shale, as well as the continued long-term decline in the Gulf of Mexico, is offset by growth in production from liquids-rich natural gas production areas such as the Eagle Ford and wet areas of the Marcellus Shale, and associated gas from the growth in domestic crude oil production....MORE