Most of the natural gas consumed in the United States is produced domestically

U.S. dry natural gas production and consumption were nearly balanced through 1986. After 1986, consumption began to outpace production, and imports of natural gas increased to meet U.S. demand for the fuel. After a five-year decline beginning in 2001, production increased from 2006 through 2015, when production of natural gas in the United States reached its highest recorded total. The increase in production was the result of more efficient, cost-effective drilling and production techniques, notably from shale, sandstone, carbonate, and other tight geologic formations. In 2015, U.S. dry natural gas production was equal to about 99% of U.S. natural gas consumption.

Five states accounted for about 67% of total U.S. dry natural gas production in 2014:1

  • Texas (28%)
  • Pennsylvania (16%)
  • Oklahoma (8%)
  • Louisiana (8%)
  • Wyoming (7%)

Offshore natural gas production

Although most of the natural gas and oil wells in the United States are on land, some wells are drilled into the ocean floor in waters off the coast of the United States. States have jurisdiction over natural resources within three nautical miles of their coastline, except for Texas and the west coast of Florida where state jurisdiction extends to nine nautical miles. The federal government retains ownership of resources past those limits, and it leases some areas for oil and natural gas production. Most of U.S. offshore natural gas production occurs in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, where about 5% of U.S. dry natural gas was produced in 2014.

Most U.S. natural gas imports are from Canada

The United States imports natural gas to supplement domestic production. In 2015, 97% of natural gas imports came by pipeline, mainly from Canada, and 3% came by liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers.

What is shale?

Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that is easily broken into thin, parallel layers. Shale can contain a large amount of natural gas. Extensive efforts such as horizontal drilling and creating artificial fractures in the rock are often needed to achieve satisfactory production rates of natural gas from shale.

Natural gas from shale is one of many unconventional sources of natural gas. Other unconventional sources of natural gas include natural gas produced from coalbeds and from tight (impermeable) sandstone or chalk formations. For more information about natural gas production from tight geologic resources, visit EIA’s Energy in Brief article Shale in the United States.

Schematic Geology of Natural Gas Resources

Source: Adapted from United States Geological Survey factsheet 0113-01 (public domain)

Click to enlarge »

Supplemental natural gas supplies

Supplemental natural gas supplies include blast furnace gas, refinery gas, propane-air mixtures, and synthetic natural gas (natural gas made from petroleum hydrocarbons or from coal). These supplemental supplies equaled about 0.2% of U.S. natural gas consumption in 2015. The largest source of synthetic natural gas is the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in Beulah, North Dakota, where coal is converted to pipeline-quality natural gas.

1 Year for which most recent state-level dry natural gas production data were available when this page was updated.