U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Today in Energy
The United States exported 401,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil in July 2014, the highest level of exports in 57 years and the second highest monthly export volume since 1920, when EIA's published data starts. Recent crude oil exports are also noteworthy for both their origins and destinations. As a result of existing U.S. crude oil export restrictions, most U.S. crude exports are sourced domestically and are sent only to Canada. However, since April, crude exports have included modest amounts of Canadian-produced barrels that were moved through the United States and then re-exported to Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and Singapore.
In the long term, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are driven by economic and efficiency trends and changes in the fuel mix. But weather fluctuations, which drive the level of energy use for both heating and cooling, are a very significant factor affecting year-to-year variation in fossil fuel consumption and their resulting emissions.
Following a two-year hiatus, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has resumed issuing license renewals for nuclear power plants. On October 20, the NRC renewed the operating licenses for Limerick Generating Station Units 1 and 2, located northwest of Philadelphia, extending their license expiration dates by 20 years, to 2044 and 2049, respectively. With this action, the NRC has granted license renewals providing a 20-year extension to a total of 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. Nuclear power accounted for 20% of total power sector electricity generation in 2013.
Note: Dubai/Oman price calculated by taking the average of Dubai and Oman spot prices.
When energy analysts and the media discuss the price of crude oil, they are typically referring to one of a small group of specific types of crude oil that are widely and actively bought and sold. The use of such benchmark crudes makes it easier for buyers and sellers to price the variety of crudes that are produced around the world.
EIA has adjusted its estimates of the energy content of retail motor gasoline in the Monthly Energy Review (MER) to reflect its changing composition. Ethanol and other oxygenates, which have lower energy content than petroleum-based gasoline components, have seen their share of total gasoline volumes increase from 2% in 1993 to nearly 10% in 2013. As a result, EIA's estimate of motor gasoline's average energy content per gallon has declined by about 3% over this 20-year period.
Investment by U.S. investor-owned utilities in the electricity distribution system has increased over the past two decades. While down from a peak of $20 billion in 2012, 2013 levels remain higher than spending in the 1990s and early 2000s. Increased investment in the electricity distribution system has occurred even as U.S. electricity sales have decreased.
U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have declined in five of the past eight years. This trend has been led by emissions reductions in the electric power sector. Electricity demand growth has been lower than in the past and at the same time the power sector has become less carbon intensive (measured as CO2 emitted per kilowatthour of generation). Total emissions from the electric power sector in 2013 totaled 2,053 million metric tons (MMmt), about 15% below their 2005 level.
Note: Growth rates reflect annual changes.
U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased in 2013 by 129 million metric tons (2.5%), the largest increase since 2010 and the fourth-largest increase since 1990. Emissions trends reflect a combination of economic factors (population multiplied by per capita output [GDP/population]), energy intensity (energy use per dollar of GDP), and carbon intensity (carbon emissions per unit of energy consumed).
Total U.S. household energy consumption expenditures have generally declined relative to disposable income since 1960, although during periods of high energy prices, consumers devote increasing shares of their income to energy. Energy expenditures ranged between 4% and 8% of disposable income since 1960. Consumer energy expenditures today are a lower percentage of disposable income than the average from 1960 to present (5.5% average).
About one-third of the natural gas North Dakota has produced in recent years has been flared rather than sold to customers or consumed on-site. The rapid growth in North Dakota oil production, which rose from more than 230,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in January 2010 to more than 1,130,000 bbl/d in August 2014, has led to increased volumes of associated gas, or natural gas that comes from oil reservoirs. These increased volumes require additional infrastructure to gather, process, and transport gas volumes instead of flaring them. These additions can take time to build, and well operators are often reluctant to delay production. In an effort to reduce the amount of natural gas flared, North Dakota's Industrial Commission (NDIC) established targets that decrease the amount of flared gas over the next several years.