U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Today in Energy
Note: Winter 2013-14 includes forecasts for March.
Note: * Propane expenditures represent households in the Midwest and Northeast.
Average expenditures for U.S. households heating primarily with propane are expected to be 54% higher this winter (October-March) compared with last winter, while expenditures for homes using heating oil will be 7% higher, natural gas 10% higher, and electricity 5% higher, according to EIA's March Short-Term Energy Outlook. Persistently cold weather east of the Rocky Mountains drove up demand for all heating fuels, depleted inventories, and put upward pressure on prices. Propane prices experienced an especially high spike during several weeks in January and February. EIA's current estimates for winter heating expenditures are significantly higher than the pre-winter forecasts in the October 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.
The productivity of oil and natural gas wells is steadily increasing in many basins across the United States because of the increasing precision and efficiency of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in oil and natural gas extraction. Many resource-producing basins are experiencing an increasing yield over time in either oil (Bakken, Eagle Ford, Niobrara) or natural gas (Marcellus, Haynesville).
After accounting for more than one third of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports throughout the 1990s, Indonesia's share of the global market is currently about 7%. This declining share is a result of both growing global LNG demand that is increasingly served by non-Indonesian supply and lower Indonesian exports. While Indonesia's LNG exports have fallen by 40% since 1999—driven by the country's economic growth that has stimulated higher levels of domestic energy consumption, particularly of natural gas—global LNG demand has risen over 150% during the same period.
The number of retail fueling stations offering motor fuel that can be up to 85% ethanol, known as E85, has grown rapidly since 2007. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), Minnesota continues to lead the nation, with 336 E85 retail locations. However, in recent years, states outside of the Midwest have experienced some of the fastest growth. Currently, 2% of all retail stations in the United States offer E85, serving the approximately 5% of the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet capable of running on E85.
Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration launched an interactive, online Coal Data Browser that brings together in a single tool comprehensive data on the U.S. coal industry.
Note: FOB means free on board, which is the price at the plant excluding transportation costs.
The abundant 2013 corn harvest lowered the price of corn, a key input to ethanol production. In addition to lower corn input costs, ethanol producers are also benefiting from improving margins for dried distillers grains, an important supplement for animal feed that is the major co-product of ethanol production from corn. Sales of dried distillers grains provide a significant portion of the total revenue received by ethanol facilities, underpinning the economic feasibility of ethanol fuel production.
In 2013, North Sea Brent crude oil, the most important global benchmark for waterborne light sweet crude, traded in the narrowest price range since 2006 and exhibited the lowest magnitude of daily price movements in more than 10 years. The minimum closing price for 2013 was $97.69 per barrel (bbl) on April 17, and the maximum closing price was $118.90/bbl on February 8, representing a trading range of $21.21 for the year.
U.S. natural gas storage capacity grew 2% in 2013, according to a report just released by EIA, led by strong gains in salt-based storage in the traditional Producing region as well as in nonsalt storage fields in the West. In contrast, there was almost no growth in storage capacity in the East. Each measure of aggregate storage capacity tracked by EIA, demonstrated (peak volume of gas actually injected into active storage facilities) and design (physical storage capacity), increased by 2% from 2012.
Note: Net imports are expressed as negative values.
Changes in crude oil and petroleum products trade account for most of the recent narrowing of the total U.S. trade deficit. Monthly trade data show the value of crude and petroleum products net imports was roughly equal to the value of electronics net imports in November 2013, and close to the value of net imports of both machinery and vehicles and parts. The monthly oil and petroleum trade deficit had significantly exceeded that of other major commodity categories since it broke away from vehicles and parts in 2004.
Although coal trade only accounts for about 5% of trade flows in energy fuels, the volume of U.S. coal exports has steadily increased, from 50 million short tons (MMst) in 2005 to a record 126 MMst in 2012. Export volumes set a monthly record in March 2013, before declining in the second half of the year. Coal exports are an increasingly important source of revenue for U.S. coal producers, railroads, and barge companies. Coal's transportation through the supply chain affects its delivered price.