(Adds details about coal's share of power generation)
* EIA sees 2012 natgas output at record-high 68.85 bcfd
* 2012 gas demand seen up 4.7 pct from 2011
* 2012 Henry Hub natgas prices seen down 32 pct yr/yr
* Household gas heating bills seen up 15 pct this winter
NEW YORK, Oct 10 The Energy Information
Administration said it expects U.S. domestic natural gas
production in 2012 to be up nearly 4 percent from 2011's record
In its October Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook,
the EIA on Wednesday said it expects marketed natural gas
production in 2012 to rise by 2.6 billion cubic feet per day to
a record 68.8 bcf per day, little changed from its September
The agency sees a small drop in production in coming months,
reflecting recent declines in the gas-directed rig count.
The EIA sees output growth slowing in 2013, gaining just 0.4
bcf per day as a reduction in drilling activity is offset by
rising production from liquids-rich producing areas like Eagle
Ford in Texas and Marcellus in Appalachia. Average daily output
will still hit a record for the third straight year.
The agency left its growth estimate for consumption this
year nearly unchanged from its September outlook, forecasting
demand will climb 3.1 bcfd, or 4.7 percent, from 2011 to 69.76
Large gains in gas use by the electric power sector this
year have more than offset declines in residential and
Gas demand from the electric power sector was expected to
average 25.4 bcf per day in 2012, a 22-percent jump from 2011,
primarily driven by the relative cost advantage of natural gas
over coal for power generation in some regions.
Coal consumption this year was expected to fall 6 percent as
gas replaced coal for power generation.
The EIA forecast coal-fired generators would produce about
38 percent of the nation's power supply in 2012, down from 42
percent last year. But the agency expects coal to produce 40
percent of the nation's power in 2013.
Meanwhile, natural gas' share of total generation is
forecast to rise to 30 percent in 2012 from 25 percent in 2011,
then slip to 27 percent in 2013 on higher costs for the fuel,
the EIA said.
Coal exports remained strong, with expectations for a record
125 million short tons to be exported from the United States in
In 2013, the EIA sees total gas demand slipping about 0.2
bcf per day, or 0.2 percent, to 69.6 bcf daily, as expected
declines in the electric power sector offset increases in
residential, commercial and industrial consumption.
Although projected higher natural gas prices will contribute
to a 10.4 percent decline in gas consumption from the electric
power sector in 2013, power sector demand next year is expected
to be about 1.9 bcf per day higher than 2011 levels and high by
On the supply front, pipeline imports are expected to fall
by 2.3 percent in 2012 as growing supplies of domestic shale gas
replace some imports from Canada. Pipeline exports, mostly to
Mexico, are expected to remain flat in 2012 and grow very
slightly in 2013.
The EIA expects imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to
halve in 2012 to about 0.5 bcfd and remain near that level in
2013, as global shippers send more gas to higher-paying markets
in Europe and Asia.
The EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas prices NG-W-HH, a
key supply point in Louisiana, in 2012 to average $2.71 per
million British thermal units, up 6 cents from last month's
outlook but about 32 percent below 2011's estimated average of
Roughly 50 percent of U.S. households heat their homes with
natural gas. They are expected to pay, on average, $89 more this
winter, an increase of 15 percent, the EIA said. This winter is
expected to be colder than last year's warmer-than-normal
In 2013, the EIA sees prices rising 64 cents, or 24 percent,
to $3.35 per mmBtu.
(Reporting By Joe Silha, Jeanine Prezioso and Scott Disavino in
New York; editing by John Wallace and Marguerita Choy)