U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Today in Energy
U.S natural gas net imports fell to 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015, continuing a decline that began in 2007, when net imports of natural gas exceeded 10 Bcf/d. While both U.S. natural gas consumption and production have increased in recent years, natural gas production has grown slightly faster, resulting in a decline in net imports. Increasing domestic production of natural gas has reduced U.S. reliance on imported natural gas and kept U.S. natural gas prices relatively low.
Consumption of steam coal used for electricity generation in the U.S. electric power sector fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period. States with the largest declines were concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast, with six states in these regions accounting for nearly half of the national decline. Smaller declines in power sector coal consumption occurred in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, all in the Rocky Mountain region.
U.S. propane exports have increased significantly over the past three years, but only after market participants worked to overcome several challenges in transporting propane to export customers. After largely overcoming the first challenge of building sufficient export capacity, the next challenge involves economically transporting large quantities of propane over long distances. The current, although likely temporary, solution has resulted in import and export data abnormalities affecting U.S. propane exports to Asian countries.
In its recent publication, Canada's Energy Future (CEF), Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) projects that both Canada's natural gas production and its domestic natural gas consumption will increase through the next decade. Exports of natural gas by pipeline to the United States are expected to continue to decline. The planned construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals on Canada's western coast, which would send LNG exports to Asian markets by 2019, plays a key role in maintaining Canada's overall natural gas exports.
Above-normal temperatures during the 2015-16 winter were a key factor in lowering heating demand and winter fuel expenditures. Compared with the 2014-15 winter, propane and heating oil demand decreased by 16% and 45%, respectively, and residential electricity demand decreased by 6%. The 2015-16 winter season (October through March) was 15% warmer than last winter, driven in part by one of the strongest El Niño events in decades.
Note: Electricity service suppliers do not have to meet Oregon's RPS requirements.
Oregon recently enacted legislation that requires two large investor-owned utilities operating in the state to supply 50% of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2040. The law also requires these utilities to phase out electricity from coal by 2030. With this step, Oregon joins Hawaii, Vermont, and California in having the highest renewable portfolio standard (RPS) targets in the country.
U.S. wind generation grew by 5.1% in 2015, the smallest annual increase since at least 1999, as weather patterns in the Western half of the United States lowered wind speeds and dampened wind generation during the first half of the year. The same weather patterns resulted in stronger winds in the central part of the country, where wind generation growth in 2015 was most pronounced.
Note: Includes lease condensate.
In response to continued low oil prices, onshore crude oil production in the Lower 48 states is expected to decline from an average of 7.41 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2015 to 6.46 million b/d in 2016 and to 5.76 million b/d in 2017. Increased production from the federal Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is not enough to offset those declines, with total projected U.S. production falling from 9.43 million b/d in 2015 to 8.04 million b/d in 2017.
State-level taxes and fees on gasoline in the United States averaged 26.5 cents per gallon (¢/gal) as of January 1, 2016. These taxes and fees ranged from a low of 8.95¢/gal in Alaska to a high of 51.4¢/gal in Pennsylvania, in addition to the federal tax of 18.4¢/gal. State taxes on diesel are slightly higher—averaging 27.4¢/gal, and ranging from 8.95¢/gal in Alaska to 65.1¢/gal in Pennsylvania—and are in addition to the 24.4¢/gal federal tax. EIA collects information on state gasoline and diesel fuel taxes twice a year, and recently released data for state tax rates in effect as of January 1, 2016.
Total U.S. energy production increased for the sixth consecutive year. According to data in EIA's most recent Monthly Energy Review, energy production reached a record 89 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), equivalent to 91% of total U.S. energy consumption. Liquid fuels production drove the increase, with an 8% increase for crude oil and a 9% increase for natural gas plant liquids. Natural gas production also increased 5%. These gains more than offset a 10% decline in coal production.