In this article, we'll discuss the top natural gas-producing companies in the US and their current dynamics. If you want to skip our detailed overview of the country's natural gas sector, read Top 5 Natural Gas Producers in the US.
The United States is rich in natural gas resources found in multiple key basins and regions. Firstly, the Marcellus Shale, spanning Pennsylvania and West Virginia and extending into New York, Ohio, and Maryland is a significant part of the Appalachian Basin and one of the largest natural gas fields in the US. Another important area is the Permian Basin, which stretches across Texas and New Mexico. Although primarily known for its oil production, this basin has experienced a surge in natural gas production due to new drilling techniques.
In the south-central United States, the Haynesville Shale, located in Louisiana and East Texas, has witnessed a resurgence in production. The Piceance Basin in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, known for its substantial gas in tight sand formations, and the Anadarko Basin, spreading across Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Colorado, are also notable for their gas reserves. Moreover, the Utica Shale, primarily beneath Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, offers impressive future potential. Situated below the Marcellus, it is positioned to become a major source of gas in the US. Although comparatively underdeveloped, its vast, untapped reserves could play an essential role in shaping the country's energy landscape.
Due to its rich regions, the US now produces the majority of the natural gas it consumes. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the country reached a record high in dry natural gas production in 2022, approximately 36.35 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). This equates to an average daily production of about 96.60 billion cubic feet.
In 2022, US dry natural gas production rose by approximately 1.82 Tcf compared to 2021. This increase was driven by growing demand, especially for exports, and the rising prices of natural gas. Furthermore, in 2022, five states—Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Oklahoma—accounted for about 70.4% of the total national dry natural gas production, despite there being thirty-four natural gas-producing states in the US.
The monumental increase in natural gas production is primarily attributed to advanced drilling techniques, such as horizontal drilling (drilling sideways underground) and hydraulic fracturing (breaking rocks with high-pressure liquids). These techniques are particularly effective in certain types of underground rock layers, like shale deposits, where gas is trapped in very tight and small spaces. These new methods have made it easier to extract gas from these challenging areas.
It's noteworthy that in 2022, the production of dry natural gas in the US exceeded its total consumption by about 13%. Although the US primarily relies on its own production for domestic needs, it still imports some natural gas.
Also Read: 20 Most Valuable Gas Companies in the World
Chevron Acquires Hess in a Major US Oil & Gas Industry Deal
Approximately two weeks after Exxon Mobil Corp's announcement of its $59.5 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources, Chevron Corp declared a definitive agreement to acquire Hess Corporation. This all-stock deal, merging two of the largest natural gas companies in the US, is valued at $53 billion, or $171 per share, and includes Hess's debt, raising the total value to $60 billion.
Chevron states that this acquisition will make a key addition in its portfolio through the Stabroek block in Guyana, a notable asset with high cash margins and low carbon intensity, offering promising growth into the next decade. Moreover, Hess's Bakken assets in the US will augment Chevron's operations in the Permian basin, bolstering domestic energy security.
The deal gave Chevron a 30% stake in over 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent discovered in Guyana, and in the US Bakken region, Chevron now has an additional 465,000 net acres of high-quality inventory, further strengthened by Hess Midstream's integrated assets. The acquisition also yields benefits from synergistic assets in the Gulf of Mexico and a consistent cash flow from the Southeast Asian natural gas business. Overall, this move is anticipated to hasten Chevron's production and free cash flow growth, likely helping it surpass its current five-year forecast.
You can learn more about Exxon's acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources in 25 Countries That Produce the Most Natural Gas.
Top 25 Natural Gas Producers in the US
We ranked the top natural gas producers in the US by averaging their production from 2020 to 2022. This analysis was based on the annual reports of the largest natural gas companies in the US, where we extracted their production data. The companies were then ordered in ascending order based on their average natural gas production levels.
Based on our research, here are the top natural gas-producing companies in the US:
25. Comstock Resources Inc (NYSE:CRK)
Average Natural Gas Production: 479 million cubic feet per day
Comstock Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CRK) operates in the Haynesville shale region of North Louisiana and East Texas. During the third quarter of 2023, the company drilled 13 operated horizontal Haynesville/Bossier shale wells, each with an average lateral length of 11,644 feet, and turned 21 operated wells into sales. Notably, the successful Western Haynesville wells, Cazey MS #1 and Lanier CW #1 achieved impressive initial production rates of 34 and 35 MMcf (million cubic feet) per day, respectively.
Additionally, Comstock Resources, Inc (NYSE:CRK) is forming a business partnership with Quantum Capital Solutions to focus on natural gas areas in Western Haynesville. As part of this partnership, Comstock is incorporating its existing Pinnacle system, comprising pipelines and the Bethel natural gas plant. This strategic move is anticipated to enhance the infrastructure necessary for processing and transporting natural gas in the region.
24. Ovintiv Inc (NYSE:OVV)
Average Natural Gas Production: 503 million cubic feet per day
Ovintiv Inc (NYSE:OVV) is among the top natural gas-producing companies in the US, and it achieved notable output levels in natural gas in 2022, producing 1,494 MMcf/d. The company holds over 1,032 acres across the United States, including in the Permian, Bakken, Anadarko, and Uinta basins. Significantly, in FY 2023, Ovintiv Inc (NYSE:OVV) aims to develop 70 to 80 wells in the Montney Basin and plans to invest $950 million in the Permian Basin. Currently, the company manages approximately 114,000 net acres in the Permian Basin, focusing its primary development on the Spraberry and Wolfcamp formations in the Midland Basin.
23. Woodside Petroleum
Average Natural Gas Production: 650 million cubic feet per day
Woodside Petroleum, an Australian company known for its robust natural gas operations, expanded its presence in the US in 2022 through a strategic merger with BHP Billiton's petroleum assets. This expansion entailed acquiring the entire share capital of BHP Petroleum International Pty Ltd. (BHPP) and issuing over 914 million new shares to BHP for distribution among its eligible shareholders.
The merger has given Woodside Petroleum a substantial foothold in the US market, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, which now account for approximately 15% of the company's total production. While Woodside's headquarters remain in Western Australia, it has strengthened its US presence with a regional office in Houston, Texas. Additionally, the Shenzi conventional oil and gas field, located about 195 km off the Louisiana coast in the Green Canyon protraction area, is a key part of Woodside's US operations.
22. Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO)
Average Natural Gas Production: 668 million cubic feet per day
Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) operates in some of the most competitive resource plays in the US, including Eagle Ford in Texas, Bakken in North Dakota, STACK and SCOOP in Oklahoma, and Permian in New Mexico and Texas. The SCOOP (South Central Oklahoma Oil Province) and STACK (Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian and Kingfisher Counties) formations are oil and natural gas plays located in Oklahoma.
In 2022, Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) enhanced its natural gas operations by acquiring Eagle Ford assets from Ensign Natural Resources. This acquisition, worth $3 billion, added 130,000 net acres, primarily in the condensate and wet gas phase windows of Eagle Ford. It expanded Marathon Oil's presence in the basin, incorporating over 600 undrilled locations and approximately 700 existing wells, most of which were completed before 2015 using early-generation completion designs.
21. PureWest Energy (Formerly Ultra Petroleum)
Average Natural Gas Production: 678 million cubic feet per day
PureWest Energy operates over 110,725 net acres in Wyoming's Pinedale and Jonah Fields. As of 2023, it is the largest natural gas producer in Wyoming, managing approximately 3,400 wells with significant production capacity. The company is committed to high Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance, demonstrated by its industry-leading methane intensity rate of 0.05%.
20. Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN)
Average Natural Gas Production: 823 million cubic feet per day
Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) is one of the US companies that produce the most natural gas, but in early 2023, it encountered production challenges due to Winter Storm Elliott, significantly impacting its operations in North Dakota's Williston basin. Despite these setbacks, the company maintained a strong production outlook for the year. Additionally, Devon is tapping into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, motivated by rising global demand, particularly in Europe. In 2023, the company also commenced operations at its Texas sand mine to reduce costs and improve efficiency in its Delaware basin operations. Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) holds interests in 3,664 gas wells. Furthermore, its oil, gas, and NGL sales reached $14,082 million in 2022, a notable increase from $9,531 million in 2021.
19. Seneca Resources (National Fuel Gas) (NYSE:NFG)
Average Natural Gas Production: 839 million cubic feet per day
Seneca Resources, a subsidiary of National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG), specializes in developing and producing natural gas and oil reserves, primarily in Pennsylvania. Operating in the Appalachian Basin, known for its low greenhouse gas and methane intensities, Seneca reported a net production of 350 to 355 billion cubic feet of gas in fiscal 2022. Looking ahead to the end of FY 2023, Seneca, a subsidiary of National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG), anticipates an increase in net production, projecting it to range from 370 to 390 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe).
18. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:CHK)
Average Natural Gas Production: 933 million cubic feet per day
In 2023, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) exceeded first-quarter profit estimates thanks to increased natural gas production despite declining prices. This surge in output resulted from activating 53 wells, surpassing the anticipated 36. Influenced by activist investor Kimmeridge Energy Management, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) has shifted its focus from oil drilling to concentrating on low-cost natural gas production. This strategic change was marked by the sale of a portion of its south Texas operations to WildFire Energy for $1.43 billion. Furthermore, Chesapeake reduced drilling and production in the Marcellus region, which spans from upstate New York through Pennsylvania to West Virginia and parts of Ohio. Additionally, in 2023, the company entered a 15-year agreement to supply natural gas for LNG exports to Gunvor Singapore Pte.
17. Gulfport Energy Corporation (NYSE:GPOR)
Average Natural Gas Production: 957 million cubic feet per day
Gulfport Energy Corporation (NYSE:GPOR), an independent natural gas exploration and production company, is among the major natural gas-producing companies in the USA. The company's operations are primarily located in the Appalachia and Anadarko basins, with key holdings in Eastern Ohio, targeting the Utica and Marcellus formations, and in central Oklahoma, focusing on the SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer formations. Gulfport Energy Corporation (NYSE:GPOR) holds approximately 188,000 net acres in the Utica shale basin and about 74,000 net reservoir acres in the SCOOP region. In 2022, Gulfport's average daily production was 983.4 million cubic feet, with the majority deriving from two areas: 692.9 million cubic feet per day from the Utica region and 290.5 million cubic feet per day from the SCOOP area.
16. Continental Resources Inc
Average Natural Gas Production: 1088 million cubic feet per day
Founded in 1967, Continental Resources Inc. is a leading US oil and gas producer. In 2022, the company intensified its focus on the Delaware Basin of the Permian region by acquiring assets from Pioneer Natural Resources for $3.25 billion, a move that marked a strategic expansion into Texas. This acquisition is significant, as Pioneer Natural Resources was recently acquired by Exxon Mobil Corp. Continental Resources, known for its drilling expertise in North Dakota's Bakken Shale and Oklahoma's SCOOP/STACK formations, has also expanded into Wyoming's Powder River Basin. In 2022, the company's natural gas production ranged from 1.04 to 1.14 billion cubic feet per day, slightly exceeding the previous year's output. Notably, Continental Resources became a private company in 2022 after founder Harold Hamm regained full control.
15. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1129 million cubic feet per day
As of the end of 2022, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) controlled 10.3 million net acres across the Lower 48 states in the US for oil and gas extraction, encompassing both unconventional and conventional fields, most of which are in production or owned by the company. ConocoPhillips' significant holdings are concentrated in four key areas: the Delaware Basin with 0.66 million acres in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, the Eagle Ford with 0.2 million acres in South Texas, the Midland Basin with 0.25 million acres in West Texas, and the Bakken with 0.56 million acres in North Dakota and eastern Montana. Additionally, in 2023, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) entered a 15-year LNG throughput agreement in the Netherlands, set to commence in 2031, aiming to enhance regasification capacity in Europe.
14. CNX Resources (NYSE:CNX)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1260 million cubic feet per day
CNX Resources (NYSE:CNX) holds an impressive 9.81 trillion cubic feet equivalent of clean-burning natural gas reserves. The company has rights to extract natural gas from two major shale formations, the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale, across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Its holdings include about 526,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale and approximately 610,000 net acres in the Utica Shale. Notably, 348,000 acres of CNX Resources (NYSE:CNX)'s Utica Shale holdings overlap with their Marcellus Shale properties in these states. Additionally, CNX has rights to the Upper Devonian Shale formation, specifically the Burkett and Rhinestreet shales, located above the Marcellus Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, adding about 52,000 acres to its portfolio.
13. Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE:SWN)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1284 million cubic feet per day
Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE:SWN) is a prominent player in the US natural gas industry, with substantial operations in both Appalachia and Haynesville. In FY 2022, the company's production in Appalachia totaled 1.1 trillion cubic feet, focusing on natural gas and liquids, while its Haynesville operations yielded 679 billion cubic feet. Additionally, Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE:SWN) is engaged in a carbon management initiative, partnering with CapturePoint to store CO₂ emissions from its Haynesville activities at the CENLA Hub in Louisiana.
12. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1353 million cubic feet per day
Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), one of the top natural gas producers in the US, has a significant presence in the Permian Basin, the Rockies, and the offshore Gulf of Mexico. In 2019, Occidental outbid Chevron Corp to acquire Anadarko Petroleum Corp, a former independent gas and oil company. This $55 billion transaction granted Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) access to Anadarko's holdings in the Permian Basin, bolstering the country's status as a leading oil producer with over 12 million barrels produced daily. Additionally, Occidental took control of the Caesar Tonga oil field, which has been operational since March 2012 and is expected to last for 30 years. It was developed with an investment of around $1.3 billion.
11. EOG Resources Inc (NYSE:EOG)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1394 million cubic feet per day
EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) is a leading American company in the oil and natural gas industry, known for its innovative role in exploration and production (E&P). The company has significantly invested in the Dorado natural gas play in South Texas to expand its presence in the natural gas sector. Currently, EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) has a substantial stake in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, with exposure to approximately 140 MMcf/d of gas demand as LNG. This involvement is expected to grow by 2025 with the expansion of Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi LNG plant in Texas. This development will increase EOG's exposure to 720 MMcf/d of natural gas, with 420 MMcf/d tied to international pricing.
10. Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1907 million cubic feet per day
Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC) holds extensive reserves in the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania. Over 18 years ago, the company began development in this region and has since established a substantial and continuous land holding in Southwestern Pennsylvania. As of the end of 2022, Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC) owned about 500,000 net acres of prime leasehold in the state. The company possesses the infrastructure necessary to distribute its production both domestically and internationally. Range's efforts in developing the Marcellus Shale into the top natural gas field in the US have led to enhanced efficiency, improved recovery rates, and the promotion of environmentally responsible practices.
9. Ascent Resources (L:AST)
Average Natural Gas Production: 1981 million cubic feet per day
Ascent, a major independent natural gas producer in the US, specializes in acquiring, improving, and managing oil and gas assets in Ohio's Utica Shale. The company holds a significant presence in the region, with approximately 337,000 net acres. According to Ascent's third-quarter 2023 report, the daily average net production was 2,165 million cubic feet equivalent. This output includes 1,977 million cubic feet (mcf) of natural gas, 9,109 barrels of oil, and 22,217 barrels of natural gas liquids (NGLs).
8. Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE:AR)
Average Natural Gas Production: 2200 million cubic feet per day
Antero Resources Corporation (NYSE:AR) operates primarily in the Appalachian Basin, spanning West Virginia and Ohio. The company focuses on exploring and producing natural gas, NGLs, and oil and also provides midstream services through its stake in Antero Midstream Corporation. These midstream services encompass activities and processes between the upstream (exploration and production) and downstream (refining and distribution) sectors. This integrated approach has given Antero Resources Corp (NYSE:AR) control over approximately 504,000 net acres in the Appalachian Basin. Notably, in the third quarter of 2023, the company achieved an average production of 2.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), a 4% increase from the same period in the previous year.
7. Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM)
Average Natural Gas Production: 2641 million cubic feet per day
Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) has announced a capital expenditure plan of $23 to $25 billion for 2023, marking a 9% increase from the previous year. Over 70% of Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) 's capital investments are allocated to high-return, low-cost-of-supply projects in key areas: the Permian Basin (West Texas and New Mexico), Guyana, Brazil, and global LNG projects. This strategy is anticipated to double the company's upstream earnings potential by 2027 compared to 2019. Additionally, Exxon Mobil aims to reduce the intensity of its upstream-operated greenhouse gas emissions by 40%-50% by 2030, relative to 2016 levels.
6. Coterra Energy (NYSE:CTRA)
Average Natural Gas Production: 2743 million cubic feet per day
Coterra Energy Inc. (NYSE:CTRA) operates in key areas: the Permian Basin across West Texas and Southern New Mexico, the Marcellus Shale in Northeast Pennsylvania, and the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma's Mid-Continent region. The company holds significant land assets, comprising approximately 307,000 net acres in the Permian Basin, 183,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale, and 183,000 net acres in the Anadarko Basin. Coterra Energy Inc (NYSE:CTRA) maintains a diverse portfolio across these multiple basins to sustain its natural gas production.
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Disclosure: None. Top 25 Natural Gas Producers in the US is originally published at Insider Monkey.