The Houston Chronicle recently highlighted data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting that U.S. natural gas production had its biggest one-year increase on record in 2018. The Chronicle notes:
“Driven by now more than decade-old advancements in hydraulic fracturing technology, production increased by 10 billion cubic feet per day last year – an 11 percent increase from 2017 – to 101.3 billion cubic feet per day. That led to a more 50 percent gain in gas exports, through LNG tankers and pipelines.”
The EIA report further described this energy milestone:
“As natural gas production increased, the volume of natural gas exports—both through pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG)—increased for the fourth consecutive year, reaching 9.9 Bcf/d. Total natural gas exports grew 14% in 2018, and LNG exports grew by 53% to 3.0 Bcf/d. Both pipeline and LNG exports reached record monthly highs in December 2018 of 7.7 Bcf/d and 4.0 Bcf/d, respectively. The United States continued to export more natural gas than it imported in 2018, after being a net exporter in 2017 for the first time in nearly 60 years.”
In addition, the EIA has projected that natural gas exports by pipeline will exceed natural gas imports by pipeline in 2019 for the year.
The most significant gains were experienced in the Appalachian region with the booming Marcellus and Utica shale formations, closely followed by Texas’ Permian and Haynesville shale formations. Record natural gas production creates jobs, increased tax revenue, new economic development opportunities, and promotes LNG exports for our allies abroad – a key factor in stabilizing the global energy market and minimizing reliance on volatile foreign sources.