U.S. natgas output rises after W.Va. Mountaineer pipe returns

(Reuters) - U.S. natural gas production rose over the weekend after TC Energy Corp’s Mountaineer Xpress pipeline in West Virginia returned to service following unplanned work, according to the company and data from Refinitiv.Pipeline data showed U.S. output climbed to 88.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Sunday, up from a low of 87.0 bcfd last week due mostly to the Mountaineer shutdown. One billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

TC Energy’s Columbia Gas Transmission (TCO) unit, which operates Mountaineer, said it returned the 2.6-bcfd pipe to service over the weekend after lifting a force majeure on July 11 that it imposed on July 7 due to unplanned maintenance.

“The hard work of our crews and better than forecasted weather conditions led to the early lifting of the Force Majeure and return to service,” TCO said in a notice to customers.

Most of the U.S. output increases came from Marcellus and Utica shale with West Virginia up about 0.3 bcfd from last week’s low to 6.9 bcfd and Pennsylvania up about 0.7 bcfd to 19.5 bcfd, according to Refinitiv.

Despite last week’s decline in output, Refinitiv said production in the Lower 48 U.S. states has averaged 88.1 bcfd so far in July.

That is up from a 20-month low of 87.0 bcfd in June after energy firms shut wells following the collapse in energy prices due to coronavirus demand destruction.

Monthly output peaked at 95.4 bcfd in November.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama