Six of the seven most productive shale regions in the Lower 48 states are expected to see increases in their natural gas gross withdrawals from February to March, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The news comes from the EIA’s latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which shows that more than five of the seven shale regions have seen month-to-month increase since March 2015. The outlier is the Eagle Ford shale region, which has seen a decrease in production consistently since December 2015.
The DPR expects total production from the seven shale regions to reach an all-time high of 48.6 Bcfd (1.37 X 109 m3/d) in February. A new record will follow in March, hitting 49.1 Bcfd (1.39 X 109 m3/d), according to the report. The previous record from these regions was 48.3 Bcfd (1.36 X 109 m3) set in August 2016.
The seven shale regions in the report account for more than half of the total natural gas gross withdrawals in the Lower 48 states, according to the EIA. In 2009, those same regions accounted for about a quarter of the total. Production from these regions has been increasing at an average annual rate of 14% since 2007.
Outside of these regions, the natural gas gross withdrawals have been decreasing by an average of 4% annually since 2009, according to the EIA. These same regions were also down by 8% in the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same time frame in 2015.