May 12 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas production and demand will drop in 2020 and 2021 from record highs in 2019 as government steps to slow the spread of coronavirus cut economic activity and energy prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday.
The EIA projected dry gas production will drop to 89.84 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2020 and 84.89 bcfd in 2021 from the all-time high of 92.21 bcfd in 2019.
That would be the first annual decline in production since 2016 and the first time output falls for two years in a row since 2005.
If correct, the expected 4.95-bcfd plunge in production in 2021 would be the biggest year-over-year drop on record, according to EIA data going back to 1930.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Marguerita Choy