Annual U.S. natural gas production decreased by 1% in 2020
U.S. natural gas production—as measured by gross withdrawals—averaged 111.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2020, down 0.9 billion Bcf/d from 2019 as result of a decline in drilling activity related to low natural gas and oil prices in 2020.
The 2019 record-high increase in natural gas production led to higher volumes of natural gas in storage and lower natural gas prices. Beginning in March 2020, warmer-than-average weather along with the effects of the responses to COVID-19 drove down natural gas demand and further reduced prices. The lowest average monthly U.S. natural gas production volume was in May 2020 at 106.4 Bcf/d. By December 2020, natural gas production had increased to 113.0 Bcf/d.
The Appalachia region remains the largest natural-gas producing region in the United States. Natural gas production from the Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant shales of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania continued to grow despite low regional natural gas spot prices. Natural gas production from these three states increased from 32.1 Bcf/d in 2019 to 33.6 Bcf/d in 2020. Within the Appalachia region, West Virginia had the largest increase in natural gas production, increasing by 1.2 Bcf/d, or 20%, to reach 7.1 Bcf/d. Natural gas production increased by 1.0 Bcf/d in Pennsylvania and decreased by 0.7 Bcf/d in Ohio.
In 2020, Oklahoma had the largest decrease in natural gas production, falling by 1.1 Bcf/d, or 13%, to an annual average of 7.6 Bcf/d. Texas remained the largest natural-gas producing state, although natural gas production in the state decreased from 28.4 Bcf/d in 2019 to 28.1 Bcf/d in 2020.