U.S. Overtakes Russia as Biggest Natural Gas Producer

U.S. output in January through October advanced 3.9 percent from a year earlier to 18.3 trillion cubic feet (519 billion cubic meters), according to the latest Department of Energy data. Russian output, about four-fifths of which comes from state-run OAO Gazprom, plunged 17 percent in the period to 462 billion cubic meters.

“Minimal hurricane disruptions and significant growth in production from onshore shale basins have contributed to the increase in domestic supply,” the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency said on its Web site last month.

There has been a lot of new technology, notably hydraulic fracturing, that is helping US companies reach once unreachable gas pockets.