Yesterday MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), issued our favorite monthly report–the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. For the past three reports, estimating production for November, December, and January, Marcellus natgas has increased. The trend continues in this latest report, which forecasts production for the coming month of February. Last month the EIA predicted natgas production in the Marcellus would zoom up by 160 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). This month EIA predicts in the coming month Marcellus production will go up another huge 188 MMcf/d. The #2 gas-producing basin behind the Marcellus is the Permian (in Texas). That basin will also see a big increase in natgas production–an additional 103 MMcf/d–largely because of “associated gas.” The Permian is an oil play and is, by all accounts, the hottest shale play right now because of oil. But when drillers sink holes in the ground, other hydrocarbons come out of the ground along with oil–i.e. natural gas. Ergo, the more oil you drill for and extract, the more natural gas you get along with it. Here are the latest numbers for the major shale plays in the U.S….