US electric power sector consumption of natural gas grew by 14% in 2017, more than in any other end-use sector. The electric power sector has been shifting toward natural gas in the past decade because of favorable prices and efficiency gains.
Specifically, in 2018 US's natural gas production rose by 12%, reaching a record-high average of 83.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). According to EIA, this increase was the largest percentage increase since 1951 and the largest volumetric increase in the history of the series, which dates back to 1930.
Moreover, the US natural gas consumption increased by 11% in 2018, which was due to the increased natural gas consumption in the electric power sector. Natural gas gross exports totaled 10.0 Bcf/d in 2018, 14% more than the 2017 total of 8.6 Bcf/d. Several new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities came online in 2018, allowing for more exports.
The demand for natural gas as a home heating fuel also rose in 2018, in comparison to the previous year, because of the cold weather during the winter months.
Similarly, in summer season natural gas experienced an increase, because of air condition demands and electricity.
US natural gas increase was seen mostly in the Appalachian, Permian, and Haynesville regions. Also, Pennsylvania and Ohio, states that overlay the Appalachian Basin, had the first- and third-largest year-over-year increases for 2018, increasing by 2.0 Bcf/d and 1.7 Bcf/d, respectively. Texas remained the top natural gas-producing state, with a production level of 18.7 Bcf/d, as a result of continued drilling activity in the Permian Basin in western Texas and eastern New Mexico.
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