08:22 GMT21 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Production as well as demand for natural gas in the United States are expected to fall both this year and next from 2019 highs due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the US Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

    According to the EIA monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), US dry natural gas production will average 90.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2020, which is down from an average of 93.1 bcf/d in 2019.

    "Dry natural gas production in the United States is expected to average 87.9 bcf/d next year," the agency said.

    If realized, it would be the first annual decline in natural gas production since 2016 and the first time that output of the fuel has fallen back-to-back for two years since 2005.

    As for demand, the EIA said it expected residential consumption of natural gas in 2020 to average 12.9 bcf/d (down 0.8 Bcf/d from 2019) and commercial demand in 2020 to average 8.6 bcf/d (down 1.0 Bcf/d from 2019).

    Industrial consumption of natural gas, meanwhile, was forecast to average 22.5 bcf/d in 2020 (down 0.5 Bcf/d from 2019) as a result of reduced manufacturing activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. The EIA expected total US natural gas consumption to average 79.4 bcf/d in 2021, a 4.8 percent decline from 2020.

    At the same time, the US has set an all-time record for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports, which reached 9.4 billion cubic feet in November 2020. Prices for LNG had been growing in November partly due to a decline in the global LNG supply, as production worldwide is under COVID-19-related restrictions. The US Department of Energy indicates that LNG demand will continue to grow amid expectations for a colder winter in Asia and Europe.

    energy, Energy Information Agency (EIA), gas production, natural gas
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