In its May 2020 Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that U.S. marketed natural gas production will decrease by 2% in 2020 because of a weakening economic outlook from the impact of efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. EIA expects U.S. marketed natural gas production to average 97.1 billion cubic feet per day (cf/d) in 2020, down from 99.2 billion cf/d in 2019.
Before the economic contraction caused by mitigation efforts in response to COVID-19, EIA expected natural gas production would flatten in 2020 because of the oversupplied market created as natural gas production growth has outpaced demand growth. The U.S. set annual natural gas production records in 2018 and 2019, largely because of the increase in drilling in shale and tight oil formations. This increase in production led to higher volumes of natural gas in storage and a decrease in natural gas prices.