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U.S. Natural Gas Output Up 0.8% In April: Platts' Bentek Energy

DENVER, May 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The month of April 2014 is now the most prolific natural gas producing month in U.S. history, according to the latest estimates from Bentek Energy, an oil and natural gas analytics and forecasting unit of Platts. Production for the lower 48 U.S. states last month averaged 67.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), about 0.5 Bcf/d higher than March 2014 production levels of 66.8 Bcf/d.  April 2014 also saw six of the top ten highest natural gas production days on record and peaked at 68.0 Bcf/d on April 13.  The remaining four top ten producing days all occurred in March.

Average April 2014 gas production was up 2.7 Bcf/d or 4.2% from April 2013 levels.  April 2014 is the highest natural gas producing month on record since March 2014, followed by November 2013 when production averaged 66.6 Bcf/d. 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will publish its domestic production estimates for April on or around June 30.       

"The natural gas market has been focused most recently on record low storage levels, but the natural gas production records have gone relatively unnoticed," said Jack Weixel, Bentek director of energy analysis. "With storage inventories so low, U.S. consumers need the production levels seen in March and April to continue throughout the summer to avoid higher prices this winter.  Conversely, natural gas producers are enjoying a relatively robust price environment despite substantially increased output the past two months." 

Bentek data analysis suggests 2014 production will average approximately 67.5 Bcf/d due to a higher overall price environment for producers and continued growth in liquids-rich basins such as the Eagle Ford in Texas, Bakken in the upper U.S. Midwest, and Permian and Greater Anadarko in Texas and U.S. Midwest, in addition to continued increases in dry production in the Marcellus in upper U.S. Northeast.

The Bentek data analysis is based on an extensive sample of near real-time production receipt data from the U.S. lower 48 interstate pipeline system. Bentek Energy's production models are highly correlated with and provide an advance glimpse of federal government statistics from the U.S. EIA.  

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