Natural gas production in the lower 48 United States grew 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in March to 73.4 Bcf/d, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts. While production in March remained below peak levels reached in December 2014, it was 8 percent, or 5.3 Bcf/d, greater than the daily average production in March 2014.  On a month-over-month basis, March natural gas production was up less than 1 percent from February.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will publish its domestic production estimates for February on or around April 30, 2015.       

“While last month’s U.S. natural gas production made a full recovery from freeze-offs experienced in February, continued offshore maintenance curtailed production by up to 300 million metric cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) until the end of March,” said Sami Yahya, Bentek energy analyst. “Northeast production managed a new record of 19.9 Bcf/d late last month, pushing U.S. natural gas production to its highest daily level this year of 73.3 Bcf/d.”

Yahya said the Northeast record was attained due to increased receipts along the Rockies Express Pipeline in Ohio; also, production in Northeast Pennsylvania remained about 250 MMcf/d below its all-time high, leaving room for further growth in the region in coming months.  

Bentek data analysis suggests 2015 U.S. natural gas production will average approximately 73.1 Bcf/d, with growth occurring throughout the year, driven primarily by continued production gains in the Northeast, and supplemented by additional supply from Texas and Midcontinent.

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. Platts’ Bentek production models are highly correlated with and provide an advance glimpse of federal government statistics from the U.S. EIA.