A growing share of U.S. natural gas production is associated gas, the result of increased crude oil production from the Permian, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, and Anadarko formations, Kallanish Energy learns.
In 2018, associated gas production in these five major crude oil-producing regions was 12.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), or roughly 37% of total natural gas production in these regions, and about 12% of total U.S. natural gas production, the Energy Information Administration reports.
Associated gas, which contains natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane, and natural gasoline, is sometimes characterized as wet gas because it must be treated at natural gas processing plants to remove impurities and liquids before it can be marketed as natural gas.
The increase in associated gas has led to record volumes of NGL production. The Permian Basin of West Texas/southeast New Mexico has the most associated gas production of the five crude oil-producing regions. The Permian produced 5.8 Bcf/d of associated gas in 2018, accounting for 51% of the Permian’s natural gas production total and surpassing non-associated gas production in the region for the first time.
The growth of associated nat gas is good for the country but has a negative impact on dry gas areas such as must of Pa. E & Ps are drilling for oil and related fractions which is very profitable and the AS gas is a byproduct. It can be sold at a very low price since they make so much on oil and related fractions. This past year nat gas in the Permian was selling for less than a dollar/MCF....and briefly a negative number. That deeply undercuts dry gas areas like Pa. Some areas of Pa are still profitable like the SW Pa and the Poconos.....SW because it is wet gas and Poconos because they get huge production and is very close to massive markets like NYC, Jersey, and New England.