EIA: Appalachian Natural Gas Output Stagnated in 2022 on Pennsylvania Declines

(Reuters) — Natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin, which accounts for a majority of U.S. output, was nearly flat last year as drilling efficiency at Pennsylvania's wells dropped for the first time since 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

The declines were fueled by lower production from four key Pennsylvania counties — Susquehanna, Washington, Bradford, and Greene — that contributed to 40% of the natural gas produced in the basin in 2022, the EIA said.

Appalachian output in 2022 fell by 3% or 0.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to 13.9 Bcf/d compared with the year before, the agency said.

A billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about five million U.S. homes for a day.

Growth has slowed in Appalachia because it has been increasingly difficult for energy firms to build new pipelines to move gas out of the Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia region.

For 2023, the EIA on Tuesday forecast U.S. natural gas production and demand to rise to record highs.

Appalachian output comes primarily from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, with additional production from parts of New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama, the EIA said.

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