Today in Energy

Jul 29, 2014

As cash flow flattens, major energy companies increase debt, sell assets

graph of major energy companies' cash from operations and major uses of cash, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Evaluate Energy database
Note: Annualized means each point on the graph is the sum of the previous four quarters. Thus, the first-quarter 2014 results on an annualized basis mean the data represent the sum of the four quarters ending March 31, 2014. The data above are the aggregate results of 127 global oil and natural gas companies.

Cash from operations for major energy companies has flattened in line with flat crude oil prices, which have had the lowest price volatility in years. Based on data compiled from quarterly reports, for the year ending March 31, 2014, cash from operations for 127 major oil and natural gas companies totaled $568 billion, and major uses of cash totaled $677 billion, a difference of almost $110 billion. This shortfall was filled through a $106 billion net increase in debt and $73 billion from sales of assets, which increased the overall cash balance. The gap between cash from operations and major uses of cash has widened in recent years from a low of $18 billion in 2010 to $100 billion to $120 billion during the past three years.

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Jul 28, 2014

Natural gas injection season continues on pace for record refill

graph of weekly natural gas inventories and weekly natural gas injections, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
Note: STEO denotes EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook

Nearly midway through the summer storage injection season, working natural gas in storage is on pace to meet EIA's expectations for a record overall build. The current Short-Term Energy Outlook projects a record build of close to 2,600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) from the beginning of April through the end of October, which would put inventories at 3,431 Bcf at the end of October.

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Jul 25, 2014

Biofuels are included in latest U.S. Navy fuel procurement

image of the Great Green Fleet biofuel demonstration project, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Navy, used with permission
Note: Above, clockwise from left: Fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), and cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59). Great Green Fleet demonstration, July 2012.

Recently the Department of Defense (DoD) released its annual procurement for bulk fuels to be delivered to its facilities in the eastern and inland United States and Gulf Coast. For the first time, this procurement requests military-specification diesel fuel and jet fuel that are blended with biofuels. The biofuels components, however, are optional and will only be accepted if certain cost and performance requirements are met. A similar procurement for the Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions is expected to be released later this year.

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Jul 24, 2014

U.S. petroleum refineries running at record levels

graphic of weekly refinery inputs, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report

U.S. refineries have been processing record volumes of oil recently. Refinery inputs hit a record-high 16.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in each of the past two weeks, exceeding the previous record from summer 2005. Refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast in particular pushed the total U.S. input volume upward, as these refiners' access to lower-cost crude oil, expansions of refining capacity, and increases in both domestic demand and exports contributed to higher refinery runs.

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Jul 23, 2014

Oil and natural gas sales accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013

graph of Russia gross export sales, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Russia Federal Customs Service
Note: Natural gas includes liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales.

Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these fuels accounted for 68% of Russia's total export revenues in 2013, based on data from Russia's Federal Customs Service. Russia received almost four times as much revenue from exports of crude oil and petroleum products as from natural gas. Crude oil exports alone were greater in value than the value of all non-oil and natural gas exports.

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Jul 22, 2014

Fuel economy and average vehicle cost vary significantly across vehicle types

graph of midsize passenger vehicle cost and miles per gallon by fuel type, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2014
Note: Years represent vehicle availability in the midsize passenger car size class.

Vehicle price and fueling costs are important factors consumers take into account when deciding to purchase a new light-duty vehicle. While vehicle purchase is influenced by cost and fuel economy, other important factors such as environmental concerns, performance, and style also play a part. Comparison of the fuel savings and incremental vehicle cost among various vehicle fuel types sheds light on how at least some consumers may perceive the value of purchasing a given vehicle fuel type relative to another.

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Jul 21, 2014

Recent improvements in petroleum trade balance mitigate U.S. trade deficit

graph of merchandise trade deficits by quarter, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) balance of payments adjustments to Census Foreign Trade data
Note: Petroleum and products includes crude oil, fuel oil, other petroleum products, natural gas liquids, and manufactured gas. The articles from February 2014 used monthly Census payment data that did not include the BEA adjustments.

Since the mid-1970s, the United States has run a deficit in merchandise trade, meaning that payments for imports exceeded receipts for exports. This large and growing deficit on the merchandise trade balance reached a maximum of $883 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

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Jul 18, 2014

Light-duty vehicles’ share of transportation energy use is projected to fall

graph of light-duty vehicles' share of transportation energy use, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2014

Transportation energy consumption, including energy demand from light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, aircraft, marine vessels, rail, and other sources, reached 13.8 million barrels per day oil equivalent (boe/d) in 2012 (28% of all energy consumption in the United States), down from a peak of 14.6 million boe/d in 2007. In EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Reference case, light-duty vehicle energy consumption made up 63% of all transportation consumption in 2012, but its share is projected to drop to 51% in 2040. Heavy-duty vehicle energy consumption is projected to rise from 18% in 2012 to 28% of the total 13.1 million boe/d transportation energy consumption in 2040. The declining share of light-duty vehicles in transportation energy use over time is mainly the result of improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency.

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Jul 17, 2014

Oil and natural gas resource categories reflect varying degrees of certainty

graph of oil and natural gas resource categories, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Note: Resource categories are not drawn to scale relative to the actual size of each resource category. The graphic shown above is applicable only to oil and natural gas resources.

Crude oil and natural gas resources are the estimated oil and natural gas volumes that might be produced at some time in the future. The volumes of oil and natural gas that ultimately will be produced cannot be known ahead of time. Resource estimates change as extraction technologies improve, as markets evolve, and as oil and natural gas are produced. Consequently, the oil and gas industry, researchers, and government agencies spend considerable time and effort defining and quantifying oil and natural gas resources.

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Jul 16, 2014

EIA projects modest needs for new electric generation capacity

graph of electric generating capacity additions, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, and Annual Energy Outlook 2014

The Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case projects 351 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating additions between 2013 and 2040, in both the electric power sector and end-use sectors. Projected future capacity additions are well below the average annual levels observed in recent history, and natural gas is the primary fuel source of the projected added capacity. Near-term additions (through 2016) average 16 GW per year, followed by additions of less than 9 GW per year through 2022, as the existing generating fleet will be sufficient to meet expected demand growth in most regions. From 2025 to 2040, annual additions increase to an average 14 GW per year, but remain below recent levels.

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