U.S. natural gas demand steady for winter

Oct. 17, 2013 at 7:38 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A mild winter is expected to keep U.S. natural gas demand at a relatively stable level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a report for winter.

FERC said U.S. natural gas production is on the rise because of growth in Northeastern markets and from shale production in the Eagle Ford reserve area in Texas.

The commission said gas production from the eastern Marcellus shale formation in August was near 12 billion cubic feet per day, up from an average 7.4 billion cubic feet per day for 2012. Production from Eagle Ford was near 5 billion cubic feet per day in August, up from the average 3.3 billion cubic feet per day for last year.

FERC in its winter market assessment Wednesday said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects a "normal" winter for most of the country. FERC said the winter assessment means consumer natural gas demand should not increase much for the season.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department's analytical arm, said last week it expects consumers will pay 13 percent more to heat their homes with natural gas than they did last year.

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