By Tyler Losier, Energy Reporter, Oil & Gas 360

The United States has been a net exporter of natural gas since 2017

In the United States, natural gas is one of the most prevalent sources of energy, and according to the EIA, in 2018, 90% of the natural gas consumed by Americans was produced domestically.

In general, thanks to the shale boom, both production and consumption of dry, consumer-grade natural gas in the U.S. have increased significantly since the mid-2000s, reaching a peak of 30 Tcf in 2018.

Furthermore, for the first time since 1966, in both 2017 and 2018 American production of natural gas exceeded consumption.

What Energy Security Looks Like: 90% of Natural Gas Used in U.S. Is Produced Domestically - Oil & Gas 360

Source: EIA

The advent of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has allowed producers of natural gas to extract the commodity more economically than ever before, which is likely why in 2018, natural gas from shale wells accounted for more than half of all gross withdrawals, according to EIA data. It total, gross withdrawals of natural gas in 2018 reached 37 Tcf.

As production of American natural gas increased, so too did exports, leading to the U.S. becoming a net exporter of natural gas in 2017. In 2018, that trend continued, with the U.S. exporting a record of approximately 4 Tcf, while only importing 3Tcf, the lowest figure since 2015.



As far as which industries use the most natural gas, in 2018, more than two-thirds of American natural gas consumption could be attributed to the electric power (35%) and industrial (34%) sectors. This is by no means out of the ordinary, as the U.S. electric power industry has been the largest consumer of natural gas in three of the last four years.

Formerly, the industrial sector was the largest end user, before electric power gained the lead in 2012. Other smaller consumers include the residential, commercial and transportation sectors, who mainly use natural gas for the purposes of heating.

Legal Notice