Total production of crude oil across the United States continued higher in March, while production of natural gas took a step back after a recent recovery, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Gross wet gas production in the U.S. decreased 0.2%, or about 0.14 Bcf/d, to 89.64 Bcf/d in March from 88.78 Bcf/d in February, putting total U.S. wet gas production 1.44 Bcf/d, or 1.6%, below levels reported in March 2016, the EIA said in its latest "Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production" report released May 31.
Texas and Pennsylvania saw the largest drop in gas production by volume with each down almost 0.16 Bcf/d month on month to an average of 21.09 Bcf/d in Texas and 14.99 Bcf/d in Pennsylvania, but with Louisiana helping to offset that decline with a monthly increase of almost 0.2 Bcf/d, or 3.7%, to 5.39 Bcf/d.
Total U.S. crude oil production increased 0.7% month on month, from 9.04 MMbbl/d in February to 9.10 MMbbl/d in March, but was still down 0.8% from levels recorded in March 2016.
On an absolute basis, Wyoming saw the largest increase in oil production, rising 15,000 bbl/d, or 8.5%, to an average of almost 203,000 bbl/d, followed by the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico, where output was up 14,000 bbl/d, or 0.8%, to total 1.76 MMbbl/d.
While total oil production continued to push higher in March, the pace of growth slowed from the previous month, which analysts with Barclays attributed to a shift in weather.
"Last month, we highlighted that some of the growth in February was likely due to better weather, so it is not surprising that growth slowed during March as these one-off benefits were already realized," analysts Warren Russell and Michael Cohen wrote in a May 31 note to clients.