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US natural gas production continues higher, up 6.2% YOY in October

Total production of natural gas across the United States continued to surge in October led by another big increase in output from Alaska, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Gross wet gas production in the U.S. increased 1.25 Bcf/d to 93.10 Bcf/d in October from 91.85 Bcf/d in September, positioning total U.S. wet gas production almost 5.42 Bcf/d, or 6.2%, above levels reported in October 2016, the EIA said in its latest "Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production" report released Dec. 30.

Alaska led the increase with production up 623 MMcf/d, or 7.3%, on the month, adding to the 1.36 Bcf/d increase logged in September. In the Lower 48, Texas saw the biggest increase in production with output up 521 MMcf/d, or 2.4%, to 22.39 Bcf/d. The gains were partially offset by decreased production in the Gulf of Mexico, where output was down 344 MMcf/d, or 11.9%, to 2.53 Bcf/d.

Total U.S. crude oil production also increased in October, rising 1.8% month on month, from 9.47 million barrels per day in September to 9.64 million bbl/d in October, putting oil output 9.6% higher year on year from levels recorded in October 2016.

On an absolute basis, production from Texas saw the biggest increase, increasing 206,000 bbl/d, or 5.8%, to near 3.77 million bbl/d in October. The Gulf of Mexico once again represented the biggest declines in production, with oil output down 200,000 bbl/d, or 12.2%, in October.

Production from the Gulf of Mexico was pulled lower by the impacts of Hurricane Nate, which made landfall over Mississippi late Oct. 7 as a Category 1 hurricane. According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the amount of natural gas production shut-in as a result of the storm peaked Oct. 8 at 2.5 Bcf/d while the amount of oil production shut-in for the storm peaked Oct. 8 at 1.62 million bbl/d.