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Rystad Energy sees Deep South shale region as U.S. natural gas standout

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    A shale reserve straddling the border of Louisiana and Texas is expected to account for the bulk of an expected 7% increase in U.S. natural gas production, Norwegian energy research firm Rystad Energy said Tuesday.

    Rystad on Tuesday said it expected "significant" growth in U.S. shale natural gas production, with an increase of 6.9 billion cubic feet per day representing a 7% increase from 2022, provided the forecast is accurate.

    Federal data show the Appalachia basin - a reservoir spread out over West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio - along with the Permian basin in Texas are the most lucrative shale natural gas reserves in the country.

    Rystad, however, sees the lack of pipelines inhibiting the rate of growth in production, singling out the Haynesville production in east Texas and Louisiana as the most promising for 2023 in terms of production growth.

    Current estimates put Haynesville production at 15.7 billion cubic feet for the month and while the Permian, for example, produces more than that on average, Rystad is expecting only 1.6 billion cubic feet per day in growth over last year's levels. That's about 7% of current levels. Operators in Haynesville are working at well over the capacity necessary to maintain current output, Rystad found.

    Elsewhere, U.S. natural gas production is supporting Western allies looking to alternatives to Russian gas in the form of liquefied natural gas exporting from the United States. The 12 billion cubic feet of gas in liquid form expected from the United States would be a 12% improvement over year-ago levels, should Rystad's forecast hold.

    That comes as a relief, said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. "it's very important to make sure that they have the means" to find alternative supplies, she said.


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