U.S. natural gas production flattens

Marketed natural gas production in the United States has not grown since 2011, largely because of low prices for the commodity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Still, production remains at the highest level in recorded history. More than 2.1 trillion cubic feet of marketed natural gas was produced in the United States in June, the most recent month for which data is available from the EIA. That’s about the same amount produced in December of 2011.

Monthly natural gas marketed production through July 2012. (Source: EIA)

Marketed natural gas production grew 8 percent during 2011, but it remained relatively flat in 2012 through June. However, the EIA expects production to fall in August.

“Data for August 2012 will likely show a significant drop in average daily production as Hurricane Isaac shut in many offshore wells for several days,” the federal agency noted.

The Henry Hub spot price for natural gas has vacillated around $2 to $3 per million British thermal units for much of the year, well below the five-year average. A warm winter in early months kept prices low and supplies high heading into the summer.

Forecasts of cooler weather have boosted the price with the start of fall.  Natural gas futures jumped to $3.48 on Monday compared to $2.84 a week earlier.