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U.S. natgas output and demand to hit record highs in 2023

U.S. natural gas production and demand will rise to record highs in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday.

The EIA projected dry gas production will rise to 102.74 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2023 and 103.04 bcfd in 2024 from a record 98.13 bcfd in 2022.

The agency also projected domestic gas consumption would rise from a record 88.53 bcfd in 2022 to 88.64 bcfd in 2023 before sliding to 86.59 bcfd in 2024.

If correct, 2024 would be the first time that output rises for four years in a row since 2015, and 2023 would be the first time demand rises for three years in a row since 2016.

The latest projections for 2023 were higher than the EIA’s May forecast of 101.09 bcfd for supply and 87.54 bcfd for demand.

The agency forecast average U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports would reach 12.07 bcfd in 2023 and 12.73 bcfd in 2024, up from a record 10.59 bcfd in 2022.

That 2023 LNG forecast was lower than the 12.11 bcfd the EIA forecast in May.

The EIA projected U.S. coal production would fall from 597.2 million short tons in 2022 to 559.5 million short tons in 2023, the lowest since 2020, and 478.4 million short tons in 2024, the lowest since 1963, as natural gas and renewable sources of power displace coal-fired plants.

As gas demand eases and power producers burn less coal, the EIA projected carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels would fall from 4.964 billion tonnes in 2022 to 4.794 billion tonnes in 2023 and 4.775 billion tonnes in 2024.

That compares with 4.580 billion tonnes in 2020, which was the lowest since 1983 because the coronavirus pandemic depressed demand for energy.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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