EIA report shows increased usage of natural gas in US

Published on July 11, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

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A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that more than 90 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States was produced domestically in 2018.

U.S. natural gas production and consumption have both increased since the mid-2000s with production exceeding consumption in both 2017 and 2018. The increase is due to widespread adoption of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques which have allowed producers to produce natural gas from shale formations. Shale gas now makes up a higher percentage of U.S. natural gas production than from traditional wells. In 2018, gross withdrawals of natural gas totaled 37 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), with more than half coming from shale gas wells.

Exports of natural gas have also increased, surpassing natural gas imports. The United States became a net exporter of natural gas in 2017. Last year, the United States exported about four Tcf of natural gas, either by pipeline to Mexico and Canada or shipped overseas as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas imports were three Tcf, the lowest since 2015.

The report also found that the electric power and industrial sectors used two-thirds of the natural gas consumed in the United States. The electric power sector has been the largest end user of natural gas in three of the last four years, surpassing the industrial sector in 2012. Last year, about 35 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States was used by the electric power sector. The industrial sector consumed 34 percent last year.