Peak Oil is You

Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)

Page added on March 29, 2016

Bookmark and Share

U.S. Production of Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids Expected to Increase Through 2017

U.S. Production of Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids Expected to Increase Through 2017 thumbnail

graph of production of hydrocarbon gas liquids, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, March 2016. Note: Butanes include both normal butane and isobutane.

U.S. production of hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL)—a group of products including ethane, propane, butanes, and natural gasoline—is expected to increase from 3.86 million barrels per day in 2015 to 4.33 million b/d in 2017, according to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). HGLs are produced at both natural gas processing plants and petroleum refineries, but natural gas plants are expected to provide more than 95% of the forecast production growth.

Between 2008 and 2015, HGL production at natural gas processing plants (including fractionation facilities) increased as a by-product of the growing supply of natural gas from shale gas and tight oil formations. Projects that increased the capacity to produce, store, transport, export, and consume HGLs enabled the supply of HGLs to expand at a faster rate than natural gas production. STEO expects HGL production growth to continue to outpace natural gas production growth in 2016 and 2017, as more HGL infrastructure projects are completed.

Ethane production, which was constrained by lack of demand and low prices in recent years, is expected to increase at a faster rate than other HGLs in 2016 and 2017, as expanded petrochemical and export capacity provides new outlets for supply and allows more ethane to be recovered from raw natural gas. Forecast natural gas plant ethane production increases by 300,000 b/d between 2015 and 2017, accounting for two-thirds of total HGL production growth.

The United States, which was a net importer of all HGL products in 2007, became a net exporter of natural gasoline in 2008, of butane and propane in 2011, and of ethane in 2014. Annual average net propane exports (gross exports minus gross imports) increased from 10,000 b/d in 2011 to an estimated 500,000 b/d in 2015, as the capacity to export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including propane and butanes, increased by almost 1 million b/d.

STEO projects net propane exports to increase to 640,000 b/d in 2016 and to 740,000 b/d in 2017 as exports ramp up at two Gulf Coast terminal projects that began operating in the second half of 2015, and at another project scheduled to come online in the second half of 2016. In March 2016, the first waterborne shipment of ethane left the United States from new ethane export facilities at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. A second ethane export facility is expected to open in the third quarter of 2016 at Morgan’s Point, Texas. STEO projects net ethane exports to increase by 80,000 b/d in 2016 and by 90,000 b/d in 2017 as exports ramp up at these terminals.

graph of production growth of marketed natural gas and natural gas plant production of hydrocarbon gas liquids, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, March 2016

More information about the HGL outlook for production, consumption, infrastructure, and trade is available in the Short-Term Outlook for Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids, a supplement to EIA’s monthly STEO.

Energy Collective

28 Comments on "U.S. Production of Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids Expected to Increase Through 2017"

  1. HARM on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 1:56 pm 

    Once again, all the evidence points to the U.S. *exceeding* its previous 1971 (Hubbert-predicted) peak thanks to fracking. Thus adding to the current global supply glut, and potentially postponing the global peak for a generation.

    The Age of Consequences may yet happen in our lifetimes, but it’s clearly not happening yet –sorry fellas.

  2. practicalMaina on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 2:11 pm 

    Are these the same people who helped Chessapeak play up the whole endless NG in our country meme, then quietly halved the figures later on? If production is going to follow their prediction it would only be possible with higher prices, driving usage of alternatives along with it.
    The increased production will be from my new patented BoatBullshitBioreactor. Where I take corn filled bullshit that industry apologist and cheerleaders say, and I anaerobically digest it for the good of the world.

  3. Pennsyguy on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 2:58 pm 

    Well said Mania! I’ll bet there was plenty of official optimism in Germany in 1944, or in the USSR in the late 1980’s, to give two examples. Nature and her laws don’t change with human wishes, hopes or prayers.

  4. HARM on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 3:06 pm 

    C’mon, even the DoE is showing we’re already at or very near the 1971 peak of production. Are they “in on it” too? Is every reported number “fake” simply because we don’t want it to be true?

    Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, guys. Let’s face it, the score is:

    1. Housing bubble fully reinflated; unaffordability back at historic lows (check)
    2. Mega-banks and Wall Street recapitalized and bigger than ever
    3. Peakers and oil shorts subdued and/or pulverized, thanks to fracking, tight oil/tar, and deepwater drilling
    4. Public drugged into blind stupor with cheap food, beer, alcohol/drugs, cable TV and state propaganda; totally unconcerned about pollution and loss of biodiversity
    5. ZIRP-fueled Debt orgy back in full swing in housing, student loans, credit cards, sick-care, etc.

    Limits to Growth: 0
    BAU: 5

    The game is late and our side is losing. Badly.

  5. Apneaman on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 3:50 pm 

    HARM, sadly there is no cure for your Stockholm Syndrome or your inability to grasp the exponential function. I have witnessed many in the doomosphere do exactly what you are doing – up and decide that nothing bad will happen until after they are gone. It a psychological survival strategy. You have turned TPTB & technology into omni potent gods more powerful than the laws of physics chemistry and biologly. They can cancel the well underway and unprecedented ape overshoot with a happy press release, monetary policy and decades old technology. Why any day now they are going to announce a new plan to refreeze the ice caps and glaciers and recharge the worlds aqua firs, regenerate the soil, suck up the deadly, not seen in 15 million years, levels of CO2 and methane, reseed the oceans with fish and suck out the CO2 thus ending acidafication. In addition they will roll out a population solution that everyone will smile upon and the entire world will live in HARM’s happy land where logic says if I did not die today from my terminal cancer, I never will. Happy logic.

  6. HARM on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 4:22 pm 


    You could not be more wrong about me. I would prefer that we were already on the downside of Hubbert’s Peak, not because I enjoy chaos, war and general mayhem (hardly), but because systemic collapse might give some of the thousands of species we’re driving to extinction a fighting chance –and be an overdue wake-up call to our species as well. Nonetheless, what I WANT does not change the fact of what IS. I call that facing up to reality, not “Stockholm Syndrome”.

    I don’t believe TPTB & technology are omnipotent gods more powerful than the laws of physics chemistry or biology. However, determining the peak of anything is far, far more complex and harder to predict than anyone here imagined a few years ago. It’s not as simple as “Laws of physics, man!” , go home.

    Harsh reality is that I –and most of the people here– vastly underestimated the oligarchs and their power to shape world events, public opinion and to maintain the status quo. Badly underestimating your opponent and then refusing to recognize your mistake is not a recipe for success in any struggle.

    The status quo is winning, and people who want real change (or a replacement) to the current system are losing. Badly. The sooner we recognize that and try to understand why we so badly miscalculated, the sooner we can make better predictions and formulate a better strategy –even if that stratgegy is just “prep and wait”.

  7. bug on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 4:24 pm 

    Ape, you are correct, but instead of saying they are going to fix this or do that with new technology they just tell
    People “hey all that stuff doesn’t matter, we don’t need ice caps and biodiversity, what we need is more crap”
    The populous like that story better.

  8. HARM on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 5:06 pm 

    @Apneaman & Bug,

    Here are the facts:

    1. The housing bubble is now fully reinflated and in record-breaking time (~5 years from last trough to peak).

    2. The banks are now fully recapitalized by the taxpayer and the top 6 (BofA, Citi, Chase, Wells, Golman, MS) are roughly twice the size they were before the “crisis”.

    3. The system is so thoroughly corrupt and the public so duped that any politician not in thrall to Wall Street is viewed as a lunatic/Communist.

    4. Student debt has now outgrown credit card debt and is totally nondischargeable.

    5. After the ACA “fix”, there are still 30 million uninsured and the drug companies can still charge anything they want. Millions either pay their “Shkreli” surcharge or do without needed medicine.

    Don’t even get me started on bigger picture issues, like global overshoot, pollution or loss of biodiversity.

    Does that sound like I’m a pro-BAU “optimist” or a hard-eyed realist who knows when his side is losing on all fronts?

  9. shortonoil on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 6:07 pm 

    “Here are the facts:”

    1) In 2015 the oil industry lost more money than it had made in the previous eight years.

    2) The oil industries’ total revenue has fallen by over $5 trillion per year since June of 2014.

    3) In 2013 (when price was $100/barrel) the oil industry replaced 1 barrel for every eight it extracted.

    4) At $38 per barrel the industry can no longer afford to replace any reserves that they extract.

    5) The price will never recover sufficiently enough to cover the losses the industry has already suffered.

    6) The largest producer of oil in the world is now borrowing money to pay its bills

    7) The producer with the largest reserves in the world can no longer afford to buy toilet paper for its citizens.

    8) It will require the formation of an additional $39 trillion in debt over the next decade to keep the world supplied in the petroleum it will need.

    9) When the present fields that are producing are exhausted the oil age will have ended.

    10) You are an idiot!

  10. Apneaman on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 7:28 pm 

    HARM why did the fracking poster boy, Aubrey McClendon kill himself?

    Was the future of fracking just too bright for him?

    Russian Energy Firms Survive ‘Double Whammy’ of Cheap Oil, Sanctions

    With oil staying below $40 a barrel, US oil companies are defaulting on loans and filing for bankruptcy. At the same time, Russian oil firms have managed to withstand double pressure.

    “Unlike American firms, Russian oil companies are showing unprecedented endurance. They have managed to survive cheap oil and Western sanctions, Forbes analyst Kenneth Rapoza wrote.

    “US energy companies are defaulting on loans and filing for bankruptcy protection as oil prices stay under $40. But their peer group in low cost Russia has managed to survive the double whammy of cheap oil and Western sanctions that have banned them from European and American finance,” the article read.”

    “By comparison, according to S&P, US oil and gas sector accounts for 29 percent of total distressed debt in the country.

    The United States’ oil and gas sector has the second-highest sector distress ratio at 79.6%. That is worse than the 2009 distress ratio of 70%, Rapoza wrote.

    According to S&P, in the last month, such US firms as Energy XXI Ltd, Denver Parent Corp., PetroQuest Energy Inc., and Chaparral Energy have all defaulted or entered into a debt exchange agreement with creditors.”

    Read more:

    Should be a shit load of credit reviews coming up in April.

  11. makati1 on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 8:30 pm 

    Ap, correct as usual. HARM is a denier that denies he is a denier because he doesn’t realze he is a denier. He expects the elite gods to be able to work magic until he is gone. Delusion?

    Besides that, the above article is just more petro porn for the deniers to hug and play with. Cannot have the stupid investor rats jumping ship until the elite have bled them dry.

  12. Apneaman on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 8:34 pm 

    Earthquakes expected to increase too.

    Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas now face earthquake risk on par with California
    Federal map of earthquake vulnerability finds threat to seven million people in central and eastern US amid increasing oil and gas production

  13. Northwest Resident on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 9:46 pm 

    Barrel count increase resulting from US fracking is nothing to crow about. It bought time and was a nice boom for a while, but now it is going flat ass bust and it was a one-shot deal.

    Energy woes crush lending pipeline

    “But ugliness in the energy sector cannot be ignored. BlackRock revealed in a regulatory filing this week that it plans to launch an exchange-traded fund that will invest in junk bonds but exclude energy companies’ debt, a sign of how unattractive the sector has become to investors.”

    Really, this article is more about how the banks are taking heavy losses. Oil. Commodities in general. Decreased opportunities to lend/create debt.

    Maybe Harm can find a silver lining here.

  14. Harm on Tue, 29th Mar 2016 11:12 pm 


    Thanks for keeping it classy!

  15. twocats on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 12:19 am 

    Well I know Rockman would say “tomorrow he’s predicting the sun will rise”, and in a week or so we will start to get some data on energy industry bankruptcies for the month of March. We already know February was the worst yet. I would think most doomers are betting March will be even worse than February. I’m also betting the price recovery will not have been enough to keep the number from accelerating upward.

    And within a month or two (May I think) banks do their semi-annual review of their credit lines, and that could ring the collective bell on the energy complex and start to suck over-exposed banks into the vortex.

    Certainly Harm’s viewpoint has “some” validity given the stick-save from 2010 to 2014 on a global financial scale.

    Has the step-down of 2008 come with no costs as to the credibility of the system that Harm sees as so powerful? Ask those that are mystified at the popularity of Trump and Sanders.

    Does past navigation guarantee the system will survive the strains outlined above?

    And finally, if there is yet another step-down, another spin into an ineluctable mini-depression, what then? One trauma is an accident. Two traumas is a pattern.

    But if the system muddles its way through, Hillary comes to power, and “growth” rates continue, what will the doomers say then? What happens if demand picks up and the shale operators hop on that shit and we hit a new all-liquid peak in 2018? Will Harm’s viewpoint be given any credence?

  16. Harm on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 12:29 am 

    It’s pretty hilarious that I’m getting a reputation as the “optimist” here.

  17. Harm on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 12:56 am 


    Thanks for conceding that it’s at least *possible* I might be right on some points. I may not be quite as noncommittal as rockman but I also don’t claim to know the future with perfect certainty –unlike a lot of the would-be Nostradamuses here.

  18. GregT on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 1:21 am 


    Interstellar space travel is *possible*, as is colonizing Uranus. Possibility is one thing, realism is entirely another. There are two thing for certain. Finite resources will run out, and, the damage that we are doing to our planet in the meantime is irreversible, at least on a time scale that matters in respect to the human experience. What isn’t certain at this point in time, however, is whether our species will survive or not. I’m sure we’ll have a much better take on that quandary, within a few more years or decades at the most.

  19. Harm on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 1:44 am 


    I would say that some finite resources are proving to be not quite as finite is many here believe. I would also like to point out that if you had come here eight years ago and predicted sub- $40 oil and housing prices at or above 2007 levels, you would’ve been laughed right off the blog.

  20. GregT on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 2:04 am 


    There is no such thing as ‘not quite as finite’. Something is either finite or it is infinite. There is no middle ground.

    If you believe the oil glut meme, the oversupply of oily stuff that was produced because of $100+bbl oil, why do you believe that $40/bbl oil is good?

    The housing bubble almost burst in 2007, and for millions of people it did. Why do you think that an even larger bubble is a positive? It is more of the same, but bigger.

  21. Davy on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 3:10 am 

    “And within a month or two (May I think) banks do their semi-annual review of their credit lines, and that could ring the collective bell on the energy complex and start to suck over-exposed banks into the vortex.”
    It is possible energy concerns will have their issues extended and pretended away at least enough to keep this segment of the economy from imploding. It is a too big to fail segment. Moral hazard policies are accepted and normal today in the new normal. Not that this will save things because it is just another discontinuity to normal fundamentals that represent reality. Deviate from reality too long and dysfunction and the irrational take over. Corruption has always turned out this way. Eventually corruption will have rotted the core support and game over. We could have some time for this to play out but the trend is fully apparent.

  22. Cloud9 on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 8:03 am 

    Ok, so we have another year or two. Great.

  23. Kenz300 on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 8:45 am 

    Climate Change is real….. we will all be impacted by it……

    Exxon’s Climate Change Cover-Up Is ‘Unparalleled Evil,’ Says Activist

  24. geopressure on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 9:06 am 

    Oh, Well, if the Huffington Post says that ExxonMobil is evil, then it MUST be true…

    Whenever someone starts preaching about Climate Change or Fracking, I immediately think that this person is easily manipulated & will believe anything that he is told without thinking for him/herself…

  25. PracticalMaina on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 9:16 am 

    Well lets see, the Rockman, an industry man told me all i needed to know about fracking to realize it was a blip years ago. Extremely high depletion rates, high cost, high fuel and material input, he downplayed the environmental aspect of course, but he still said enough to know that it is a false sense of hope going into the future. The lie that was spread about us being the new Saudi Arabia delayed climate change mitigation in a very harmful way.

    Some guy on the internet says the SPR is empty on one hand and then on the other says fracking is a huge success, interesting.

  26. PracticalMaina on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 9:41 am 

    Geopressure, I took a course from a very respected climate scientist, as someone who had a thorough understanding of physics chemistry ect. from a young age, I can assure you that you are the one misinformed on climate change.
    The amazing thing is it really should only take a few minutes with an open mind to realize how it is happening and why. High winds have killed 2 people in the northeast this week. A man just died in new hampshire from a tree being blown over onto his moving car, last year a wintstorm took down a circus tent in the same state and killed 2. Anyone ever heard of a bounce house being blown away with someone in it before this week?

  27. twocats on Wed, 30th Mar 2016 10:11 am 


    Yep, welcome to my world. In my opinion, I’m not sure which outlook is more depressing: the utter collapse road-warrior scenario or the infinite extend and pretend Brazil scenario.

    As the backside of peak oil continues I think the Brazil scenario becomes harder to maintain. Misstep in coordinated efforts (Japan NIRP?), or a breakdown in a consensus (Russia/ Syria?), or an irrational swing by the masses that can’t be controlled (Trump?), and of these could send the system spiraling out of control, and in those moments of panic how many individuals in the supply chain (truck drivers, stockers) are going to either shelter-in-place, or get directly swept up somehow. And if that happens is society a lump of clay or a slowly cracking humpty-dumpty?

    Either way, I don’t consider you an optimist. And LOL :), I was only saying “possibly right” as from the perspective of those that are arguing with you. I assume that your comments may have large seams of cynicism and that you would love to be proven wrong and are (to some small extent) simply positing one potential (a potential many factors larger than that of interstellar space travel).

  28. Kenz300 on Fri, 1st Apr 2016 7:01 pm 

    Busted! Fracking Chemical Found in Wyoming Water Supply | CleanTechnica

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *