UPDATE 1-EIA sees 2015 U.S. natgas production, consumption at record highs
(Adds consumption and coal details)
Dec 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday said domestic natural gas production in 2015 was expected to reach 79.58 billion cubic feet per day, just off the 79.61 bcfd it forecast last month.
The figure however would still top 2014's record high of 74.89 bcfd and would be the fifth consecutive annual record high for U.S. gas production, according to EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in December.
EIA also forecast U.S. gas consumption would rise to 76.49 bcfd in 2015, up from the 76.29 bcfd it forecast in November.
That would top the 2014 record high for gas demand of 73.14 bcfd and would be the sixth annual record high in a row.
For 2016, EIA forecast more record highs with production expected to rise to 81.05 bcfd and consumption up to 76.66 bcfd.
EIA forecast increases in power sector consumption would drive total demand growth in 2015, with gas consumption by the power sector expected to rise 18.6 percent in 2015 before declining 2.3 percent in 2016.
Despite the projected decrease in 2016, EIA said it expects gas consumption for power generation to remain more than 3 bcfd above 2014 levels due to continued low gas prices compared with coal.
EIA said industrial gas consumption was flat in 2015 but is expected to increase by 3.9 percent in 2016, as new industrial projects, particularly in the fertilizer and chemicals sectors, come online. Continued...