U.S. marketed natural gas production has flattened since late 2011, mainly in response to lower natural gas prices. Nevertheless, volumes remain at historically high levels. From January through July 2012, marketed natural gas production set a record high for the first seven months of any year, averaging 68.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), up nearly 4 Bcf/d, or 5.9%, from the same period a year earlier.
While production was higher for each month from January through July 2012 compared to the same month a year earlier, monthly production has remained close to its level at the end of 2011. Data for August 2012 will likely show a significant drop in average daily production as Hurricane Isaac shut in many offshore wells for several days.
Due in part to lower natural gas prices and comparatively high prices for natural gas liquids, some producers increasingly targeted liquids-rich portions of shale formations, contributing to the overall flattening of natural gas production.