Today in Energy

Oct 1, 2014

Natural gas storage injections typically continue beyond the end of October

graph of range of weekly natural gas storage net changes, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

In natural gas markets, analysts refer to the storage injection season as running from April 1 through October 31 of each year, but these dates are not strict cutoff points. In each of the past 11 years, going back to the first full year of EIA's weekly gas storage surveys, there have been net injections during one or more weeks in November. In 6 of those years, there have been multiple weeks of net injections. There have also been multiple weeks within the injection season when the weekly change resulted in a net withdrawal.

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Sep 30, 2014

California’s subhourly wholesale electricity market opens to systems outside its footprint

map of CAISO footprint and PacifiCorp and NV Energy electric service territories, as explained in the article text

On October 1, the grid operator for most of California will begin simulating the balancing of subhourly electricity supply and demand for PacifiCorp's electric service areas in the western United States through an energy imbalance market (EIM). After a month of simulation, financially binding operations will begin on November 1. By adding its generation resources to the resource pool of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to meet subhourly electricity imbalances, PacifiCorp anticipates enhanced reliability and cost savings, particularly in the face of higher levels of renewable energy generation in the West.

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Sep 29, 2014

New Eagle Ford wells continue to show higher production

graph of average oil production per well during the first 48 months of operation, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Drillinginfo

Increased drilling and improved drilling efficiency have led to significant crude oil production increases in the Eagle Ford region in southern Texas. These increases have occurred despite the region's relatively high well decline rates. However, by offsetting the natural declines through the use of new recovery techniques, further production increases are possible.

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Sep 26, 2014

Minimum efficiency standards for electric motors will soon increase

graph of minimum nominal full-load motor efficiency under federal standards, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Note: TEFC is a totally enclosed, fan-cooled motor. EISA is the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. EPAct is the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Nearly half of the electricity consumed in the manufacturing sector is used for powering motors, such as for fans, pumps, conveyors, and compressors. About two thirds of this machine-drive consumption occurs in the bulk chemicals, food, petroleum and coal products, primary metals, and paper industries. For more than three decades the efficiency of new motors has been regulated by federal law. Beginning in mid-2016, an updated standard established this year by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for electric motors will once again increase the minimum efficiency of new motors.

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Sep 25, 2014

Everywhere but Northeast, fewer homes choose natural gas as heating fuel

graph of primary heating fuel choice, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Census Bureau American Community Survey
Note: Geographic areas based on Census regions. LPG is liquefied petroleum gas.

On a national basis, natural gas has long been the dominant choice for primary heating fuel in the residential sector. Lately, electricity has been gaining market share while natural gas, distillate fuel oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas (propane) have declined.

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Sep 24, 2014

Saudi Arabia uses largest amount of crude oil for power generation since 2010

graph of Saudi Arabia direct use of crude oil for electric generation, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI)

Saudi Arabia is one of a handful of countries that burn crude oil directly for power generation, according to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI). During the summer, Saudi Arabia typically experiences an increase in electricity consumption as domestic demand for air conditioning rises. Saudi Arabia burned 0.9 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil in July, the highest ever recorded in JODI data for the month of July and the highest overall since August 2010.

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Sep 23, 2014

Higher Permian production, constrained infrastructure increase spread between WTI oil hubs

graph of spot prices of West Texas Intermediate in two locations, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Thomson Reuters

Increasing production of crude oil in the Permian Basin in western Texas, and parts of New Mexico, has outpaced pipeline infrastructure to move the crude to refineries, causing prices for crude in the Permian Basin (at Midland, Texas) to fall below similar crudes priced at Cushing, Oklahoma. While the price difference between Midland and Cushing has been increasing for almost a year, recent refinery outages in the region caused it to widen substantially. Several infrastructure projects that will allow more crude to flow from the Permian to the U.S. Gulf Coast are expected to come online soon, which should cause this price difference to narrow.

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Sep 22, 2014

European nations are increasing electricity generation using no-carbon sources

map of low carbon net electricity generation in Europe, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics
Note: Click to view larger map.

Penetration rates of no-carbon generation have increased from 50% to 56% in recent years in Europe, as European Union countries work toward renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions targets. Increasing levels of renewable generation, along with nuclear generation, mean that many European countries generate a large share of their electricity from no-carbon sources.

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Sep 19, 2014

Russia looks beyond West Siberia for future oil and natural gas growth

Graph of oil and natural gas production in Russia, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Eastern Bloc Research, IHS EDIN
Note: Crude oil includes lease condensate production; Northwest & Arctic includes Kaliningrad.
Note: Click to view larger map.

Russia was the world's largest producer of crude oil (including lease condensate) and the world's second-largest producer of dry natural gas in 2013. In 2013, production of crude oil and lease condensate grew by 1.3%, and production of dry natural gas grew by 2.1%. Most of Russia's crude oil and natural gas production occurs in West Siberia, a part of central Russia that stretches from the northern border of Kazakhstan to the Arctic Ocean. However, new technologies, growing Asian markets, and Western sanctions have the potential to shift the regional balance of Russian oil and natural gas production in the long term.

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Sep 18, 2014

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction prices continue to rise

Graph of RGGI CO2 allowance auction clearing prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

September 3 marked the 25th auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowances by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade program covering nine states primarily in the northeastern United States. Allowance prices for this auction were $4.88, marking the third consecutive auction that prices were at or above $4 per short ton (st) of CO2.

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