Natural gas production in Appalachia driving U.S. production in 2021

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A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that Appalachia is one of three natural gas producing areas driving production increases in 2021.

According to the Drilling Productivity Report, Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production Report, three areas – Appalachia, Permian, and Haynesville, accounted for 59 percent of gross withdrawals in 2021, compared to 24 percent in 2011.

Across the U.S., natural gas production increased 2 percent and reached 118.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) on a monthly basis in December 2021, the highest on record. In Appalachia, natural gas production grew by 1.9 Bcf/d to 35.9 Bcf/d in 2021. The report credited production growth over the past decade to improved productivity from wells drills, pipeline buildout, and increased takeaway capacity. The report said regional transportation capacity limits have been reached, however.

In the Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico, production grew by 1.4 Bcf/d to 18.3 Bcf/d. That region also saw a growth in associated gas production (natural gas produced from oil wells).

And in the Haynesville region in Louisiana and Texas, production grew by 1.4 Bcf/d to 13.2 Bcf/d. The report showed that while that region saw producers drilling deeper and more expensive wells, relatively high natural gas prices during 2021 made the drilling still economical. Higher costs, the report said, have been offset by the region’s well productivity and its proximity to the Gulf Coast, where natural gas demand has been growing rapidly.