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U.S. dry natural gas production and rig count continue to grow from pandemic lows

U.S. total rig count versus dry natural gas production
Source: Graph by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), based on data from Baker Hughes Company (rig count) and EIA's Natural Gas Monthly and Short-Term Energy Outlook (production)

Our June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) estimated that production of dry natural gas in the United States averaged 92.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during May 2021, compared with 87.8 Bcf/d in May 2020. The record high for U.S. natural gas production was set in December 2019, when dry production averaged 97.0 Bcf/d. Aside from February 2021, when weather-related well freeze-offs contributed to natural gas production shut ins, May 2020 marked the low point for U.S. natural gas production so far during the pandemic. As a result of COVID-19 mitigation efforts and warmer weather, natural gas demand diminished, which lowered prices. We expect dry natural gas production to continue to grow in the United States through the end of 2022, averaging about 94.8 Bcf/d for November and December 2022.

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