U.S. natural gas production, consumption, and exports set new records in 2019
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Natural Gas Annual shows that the United States set new records in natural gas production, consumption, and gross exports in 2019. In 2019, dry natural gas production increased by 10%, reaching a record-high average of 93.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). U.S. natural gas consumption increased by 3%, led by greater use of natural gas in the electric power sector. Natural gas gross exports increased 29% to 12.8 Bcf/d.
Increased use of natural gas by the electric power sector drove U.S. natural gas consumption growth. The electric power sector consumed 7% more natural gas in 2019 than in 2018. Electric power sector consumption grew largely because of favorable natural gas prices and ongoing coal plant retirements. Natural gas consumption in all other sectors were relatively unchanged.
As U.S. natural gas production increased, the volume of natural gas exports—both through pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG)—increased for the fifth consecutive year to an annual average of 12.8 Bcf/d. U.S. LNG exports accounted for most of this increase.
The United States continued to export more natural gas than it imported in 2019, and net natural gas exports averaged 5.2 Bcf/d. In 2019, the United States also exported more natural gas by pipeline than it imported for the first time since at least 1985 (the earliest year in EIA’s natural gas pipeline trade data), mainly because of increased pipeline capacity to send natural gas to Canada and Mexico.
In 2019, dry natural gas production increased by 10%, or 8.7 Bcf/d, reaching a record high of 93.1 Bcf/d for the year. This increase was the second-largest volumetric increase since at least 1930 and second only to last year’s increase.
The two largest natural gas-producing states, Texas and Pennsylvania, also had the two largest increases in natural gas production in 2019. Texas annual average dry natural gas production increased 15%, from 19.3 Bcf/d in 2018 to 22.2 Bcf/d in 2019. Pennsylvania’s natural gas production increased 10%, from 16.9 Bcf/d in 2018 to 18.6 Bcf/d in 2019. Wyoming natural gas production decreased 11%, from 4.3 Bcf/d in 2018 to 3.9 Bcf/d in 2019. This decrease was the largest year-on-year decline of any state in 2019.