EIA: US Natural Gas Output and Demand to Hit Record Highs in 2023

(Reuters) — U.S. natural gas production and demand will rise to record highs in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday.

EIA projected dry gas production will rise to 103.68 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2023 and 105.12 Bcf/d in 2024 from a record 99.60 Bcf/d in 2022.

The agency also projected domestic gas consumption would rise from a record 88.38 Bcf/d in 2022 to 89.42 Bcf/d in 2023 before sliding to 89.00 Bcf/d in 2024.

If correct, 2024 would be the first-time output rises for four years in a row since 2015, and 2023 would be the first time demand rises for three consecutive years since 2016.

The latest projections for 2023 were lower than the EIA's October forecast of 103.72 Bcf/d for supply, but higher than its October forecast of 89.17 Bcf/d for demand.

The agency forecast average U.S. LNG exports would reach 11.80 Bcf/d in 2023 and 12.29 Bcf/d in 2024, up from a record 10.59 Bcf/d in 2022.

That is higher than EIA's 2023 LNG export forecast in October of 11.62 Bcf/d.

The agency projected U.S. coal production would fall from 594.2 million short tons in 2022 to 585.4 million short tons in 2023, the lowest since 2021, and to 480.4 million short tons in 2024, the lowest since 1963, as gas and renewable sources of power displace coal-fired plants.

As power producers burn less coal, the EIA projected carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels would fall from 4.939 billion metric tons in 2022 to 4.786 billion metric tons in 2023 and 4.751 billion metric tons in 2024.

That compares with 4.580 billion metric tons in 2020, which was the lowest since 1983 due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on demand for energy.

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