Today in Energy

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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Sep 17, 2014

Panama Canal expansion will allow transit of larger ships with greater volumes

Diagram of oil tankers, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Surveyor (2002); Maritime Connector
Note: Click to enlarge.

Ships carrying crude oil and petroleum products are limited by size restrictions imposed by several of the main thoroughfares of maritime navigation: the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Malacca. These size restrictions provide another way to classify the large tankers that carry most of global crude oil and petroleum product trade.

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Sep 16, 2014

Oil tanker sizes range from general purpose to ultra-large crude carriers on AFRA scale

Photograph of oil tankers, as explained in the article text
Source: T. Mason Hamilton, U.S. Energy Information Administration

The global crude oil and refined product tanker fleet uses a classification system to standardize contract terms, establish shipping costs, and determine the ability of ships to travel into ports or through certain straits and channels. This system, known as the Average Freight Rate Assessment (AFRA) system, was established by Royal Dutch Shell six decades ago, and is overseen by the London Tanker Brokers' Panel (LTBP), an independent group of shipping brokers.

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Sep 15, 2014

New petroleum technology revitalizes Powder River Basin oil production

graph of Powder River Basin oil production by formation, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration and Drillinginfo, Inc.

The Powder River Basin, well known for its abundant coal supply, is experiencing a turnaround in oil production. Production has rebounded from a low of 38,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2009 to 78,000 bbl/d during first-quarter 2014. Although U.S. oil production growth is occurring primarily in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian Basins, the Powder River Basin is among other regions of the country that have also benefitted from the application of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

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Sep 12, 2014

Natural gas storage deficit to five-year average continues to narrow

graph of weekly natural gas inventories and difference from five-year average, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR) and Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)

Republished September 12, 2014, 10:20 a.m., the end date on the second graph was corrected.

Storage injections have continued to outpace the five-year (2009-13) average this summer, with inventories as of September 5 at 2,801 billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to data from the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR). The winter of 2013-14 led to a large drawdown in inventories, with stocks ending March 2014 almost 1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) lower than the five-year average and at their lowest end-March level since 2003. Relatively higher weekly net injections into storage reduced that deficit to 463 Bcf as of September 5.

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Sep 11, 2014

Despite decline in some regions, world oil consumption still seen rising

graph of liquid fuels consunsumption in selected countries and regions, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2014

The largest potential for growth in demand for liquid fuels lies in the emerging economies of China, India, and countries in the Middle East, according to EIA's recently released International Energy Outlook 2014 (IEO2014). In the Reference case projection, world liquid fuels consumption increases 38% from 87 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in 2010 to 119 MMbbl/d in 2040. China, India, and other developing countries in Asia account for 72% of the net world increase in liquid fuels consumption, with Middle East consumers accounting for another 13%. Most liquid fuel demand is for industrial uses and transportation.

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Sep 10, 2014

EIA's forecast of 2014 gasoline use has risen 2 billion gallons (1.6%) in past 10 months

graph of STEO forecast of gasoline consumption, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)

EIA's short-term forecasts of gasoline consumption, which cover the current and upcoming calendar year, have risen over the past year. The latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), released yesterday, expects 2014 gasoline consumption to be 8.82 million barrels per day (135.2 billion gallons), 0.13 million barrels per day (2 billion gallons) higher than last November's forecast, which was close to the average 2014 consumption forecast across the 12 editions of STEO published in 2013. The STEO gasoline consumption estimates include the volumes of ethanol contained in all gasoline-ethanol mixtures, including both E10 and higher blends.

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