I previously reported that the U.S. set a new oil production record in 2023 and became the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter. I also noted that it was likely that the U.S. set a natural gas production record in 2023, but that it wouldn’t be certain until the Energy Information Administration released the final numbers sometime in 2024.
The EIA has now released those numbers. December 2023 marked a new all-time monthly high for natural gas production, and overall production for the year beat the previous record by 3.7%. Following a small decline in 2020 that was Covid-related, the U.S. has now set natural gas production records for three consecutive years.
The EIA reported “U.S. dry natural gas production in the Lower 48 states reached an all-time monthly high of 105.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in December 2023, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights. In 2023, Lower 48 dry natural gas production increased 3.7% (3.6 Bcf/d) from 2022. Dry natural gas production increased 3.8 Bcf/d in the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q23) compared with the average for the first three quarters of 2023.”
Most of the new production came from the shale-producing gas fields of the Appalachia region, the Permian region, and the Anadarko region. The one cautionary note made by the EIA was that production growth slowed in 2023, after rising sharply in 2021 and 2022.
The EIA’s release of natural gas production numbers for 2023 confirms the United States’ continued dominance in the sector. This data underscores the resilience of U.S. natural gas production and its sustained ability to achieve record-breaking milestones for three consecutive years.