U.S. natural gas production rose to a six-month high in July as new wells in New Mexico were completed and Gulf of Mexico platforms returned to service after a tropical storm, the Energy Department said.
Output increased 0.4 percent, to 72.58 billion cubic feet a day in the lower 48 states, the most since January, from a revised 72.29 billion in June, the department’s Energy Information Administration said in the monthly EIA-914 report, released today in Washington. Production in the contiguous states gained for the third time in four months.
“New Mexico had the largest percentage increase,” driven by the completion of new wells and maintenance projects, the department said. Gulf of Mexico production gained as more wells were put back into service after Tropical Storm Debby, the department said. Output rose 2.6 percent to 3.61 billion cubic feet a day in New Mexico, and 1.8 percent to 4.06 billion a day in the Gulf.
U.S. production, including Alaska, dropped 1.8 percent to 79.25 billion cubic feet a day.
Production from the “other states” category, including supplies from the Marcellus field and Colorado, rose 0.4 percent to 22.68 billion cubic feet a day in July, the fourth consecutive gain.
Output in Texas, the biggest producing state, rose 0.4 percent to 22.13 billion cubic feet a day. Oklahoma output rose 0.4 percent to 5.5 billion, Louisiana’s increased 0.1 percent to 8.5 billion and Wyoming’s declined 1.1 percent to 6.1 billion.
Natural gas futures in July gained 38.5 cents, or 14 percent, to $3.209 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November futures today fell 1.4 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.283 per million British thermal units.
The EIA-914 report covers gross gas withdrawals, which include gas used for pressuring, quantities vented and flared, and non-hydrocarbon gas removed in treating or processing operations.