Record LNG exports to Europe reportedly threaten America’s domestic gas consumption © Getty Images / Mark Scantlebury / EyeEm

Shale producers in the United States are struggling to meet growing domestic and international natural gas demand, according to an analysis by Reuters.

The report concluded that a hotter-than-expected summer and a lack of alternative energy sources have left the nation’s inventories below the seasonal average. It added that there were no signs of improvement in the level of inventories, despite the rise in gas prices.

The latest data showed that the Permian Shale Basin, which contributes some 12% of US total gas output, and the rig count in the Permian, has been down for two weeks in a row. “Less drilling means less associated gas to add to the national total,” the news outlet reported.

While American energy companies have been exporting liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe at record rates, calls have emerged lately to reduce those supplies to make sure there is enough for the US market.

“With heating season around the corner in both Europe and the United States and with a lot of people in both places using gas for heating, the price outlook for gas does not look good from a consumer’s perspective,” Reuters wrote.

The report noted that it is unlikely US gas prices will climb anywhere near European levels, “but they are up by a whopping 300% from a few years ago when gas was cheap because it was abundant.”

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