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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: Jun. 11, 2024  |  Forecast Completed: Jun. 6, 2024  |  Next Release Date: Jul. 9, 2024  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Natural gas

Natural gas production
With the introduction of new natural gas production data tables in this month’s STEO, we now provide data and analysis for U.S. marketed natural gas production by region in the Lower 48 states. Table 5a includes historical and forecast production data for the Appalachia, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, and Permian regions specifically. The rest of Lower 48 states category includes U.S. producing areas outside these regions.

monthly U.S. marketed natural gas production by region

We expect U.S. marketed natural gas production to be down 1% this year, led by a 9% decline in the Haynesville region and 4% decline in the Appalachia region as some producers have limited development and production because of low natural gas prices.

We estimate U.S. marketed natural gas production averaged 110 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in May, a 3% decrease from 1Q24. Production in the Haynesville region was 15% lower in May than in 1Q24, and production in the Appalachia region decreased 3%. Production in the Haynesville and Appalachia regions is driven by natural gas prices, which reached record lows in early 2024. Low natural gas prices encouraged producers in the Appalachia and Haynesville regions, in particular, to curtail production until market conditions changed.

Natural gas production in the Permian region, which is mostly associated natural gas from oil wells, is driven by crude oil production. Unlike regions that focus more on natural gas production not associated with oil wells, natural gas production in the Permian region remained almost flat in May compared with 1Q24 as crude oil production in the Permian continued to grow.

Natural gas prices and storage
We expect the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price to rise in the summer, averaging just over $2.60 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 3Q24, up from an average of $2.12/MMBtu in May. Because of relatively flat production through the second half of 2024 and a seasonal increase in demand from the electric power sector, we expect storage injections will continue to be below the five-year average (2019–2023), helping support higher prices. Storage injections two months into this injection season (April–October) have averaged 12% below the five-year average injections for this period.

monthly U.S. henry hub natural spot price

Nevertheless, U.S. storage inventories are starting the summer with more natural gas than usual. Although we forecast an increase in natural gas prices for the summer months as storage inventories rise by less than the five-year average, we expect inventories will remain above the five-year average and keep prices below $3.00/MMBtu on average in 3Q24, similar to the $2.59/MMBtu average in 3Q23. Natural gas storage inventories were 24% above the five-year average at the end of May, and we forecast storage inventories to end the summer injection season on October 31 at 6% above the five-year average. If U.S. natural gas production is lower than our forecast and consumption in the electric power sector to meet air-conditioning demand increases more than we expect, natural gas prices could be higher than forecast.

U.S. working natural gas in storage

Natural Gas
Note: Values in this table are rounded and may not match values in other tables in this report.
Natural gas price at Henry Hub
(dollars per million Btu)
U.S. dry natural gas production
(billion cubic feet per day)
U.S. natural gas consumption
(billion cubic feet per day)
U.S. LNG exports
(billion cubic feet per day)
Natural gas share of electricity generation

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Related Figures
Henry Hub natural gas price XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas prices XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas balance XLSX PNG
U.S. marketed natural gas production XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas consumption XLSX PNG
U.S. working natural gas in storage XLSX PNG
U.S. natural gas trade XLSX PNG
Monthly U.S. dry shale natural gas production by formation XLSX PNG
Monthly U.S. marketed natural gas production by region XLSX PNG

Other Resources

Henry Hub natural gas probabilities
(Microsoft Excel file)

Energy Price Volatility and Forecast Uncertainty documentation
(Adobe PDF file)

Henry Hub natural gas price and NYMEX 95% confidence intervals
January 2023 - Current Month
(Adobe PDF file)
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(Adobe PDF file)
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January 2011 - December 2012
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January 2009 - December 2010
(Adobe PDF file)
January 2007 - December 2008
(Adobe PDF file)