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U.S. Lowers 2011 Natural Gas Production Forecast by 0.6%

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. lowered its forecast for natural gas output in 2011 by 0.6 percent and reduced its outlook for prices.

Marketed gas production will average 65.58 billion cubic feet a day in 2011, down from 65.99 billion estimated in October, the Energy Department said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook released today in Washington.

Production in the Gulf of Mexico will average 5.13 billion cubic feet a day, down from 5.22 billion estimated in October, according to the report from the department’s Energy Information Administration. Lower-48-state output will be 59.5 billion, down from 59.75 billion.

“EIA expects that total marketed production will continue to grow in 2012 but at a slower pace,” the department said in the report.

Total marketed gas production will grow by 1.3 billion cubic feet per day in 2012 to an average 66.9 billion, the department said. That’s down from a forecast of 67.37 billion in October.

Gas prices at the benchmark Henry Hub in Erath, Louisiana, will average $4.09 per million British thermal units, down from the previous estimate of $4.15, according to the report. The department lowered its 2012 outlook by 19 cents to $4.13 compared with the October report.

Gas Use

Total gas consumption will be 67.1 billion cubic feet a day, down from 67.23 billion estimated in October.

LNG imports will average 0.93 billion cubic feet a day this year, up 5.7 percent from 0.88 billion forecast in October.

Demand for gas from power plants will average 20.52 billion cubic feet a day this year, down from the previous estimate of 20.57 billion. Industrial demand will average 18.44 billion, compared with 18.48 billion predicted last month.

Natural gas for December delivery fell 1.8 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.678 per million Btu at 12:32 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have declined 16 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Asjylyn Loder in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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