U.S. August Natural Gas Output Fell 3.4% on Isaac, EIA Says

U.S. natural gas production fell in August as Hurricane Isaac prompted evacuations from platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the Energy Department said.

Output decreased 3.4 percent to 76.6 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 79.33 billion in July, the department’s Energy Information Administration said in the monthly EIA-914 report, released today in Washington. It was the third straight drop.

The biggest declines were in Louisiana and the Gulf “as many operators reported shut-ins due to Hurricane Isaac,” the department said.

Production in the lower-48 states dropped 0.2 percent to 72.55 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 72.66 billion in July. Gulf output slid 9.5 percent to 3.7 billion cubic feet a day. Louisiana supplies fell 1.9 percent to 8.31 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 8.47 billion.

Oklahoma output slipped 0.4 percent to 5.48 billion versus the prior month. New Mexico declined 0.3 percent to 3.6 billion while Wyoming dropped 2.1 percent to 5.97 billion.

Texas Gas

Output in Texas, the biggest producing state, gained 1 percent to 22.41 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 22.18 billion. Supplies from the “other states” category, including gas in the Marcellus shale formation, rose 1.6 percent to 23.08 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 22.71 billion in July.

The increases “can be explained by new wells coming online in several shale plays,” the department said.

Natural gas futures in August dropped 41 cents, or 13 percent, to $2.799 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. December futures today fell 13.6 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $3.563 per million British thermal units at 12:39 p.m. Gas is down 4.9 percent from a year ago.

The EIA-914 report covers gas gross withdrawals, which include gas used for repressuring, quantities vented and flared, and non-hydrocarbon gas removed in treating or processing operations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at cbuurma1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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