Today in Energy

Feb 27, 2017

U.S. electric generating capacity increase in 2016 was largest net change since 2011

graph of U.S. utility-scale electric capacity additions and retirements, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Annual and Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

More than 27 gigawatts (GW) of electricity generating capacity was added to the U.S. power grid during 2016, the largest amount of added capacity since 2012. These additions more than offset the retirement of roughly 12 GW of capacity, resulting in a net capacity gain of nearly 15 GW, the largest change since 2011. These net additions follow a 4 GW net capacity decrease in 2015—the largest net drop in capacity recorded in the United States.

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Feb 24, 2017

U.S. crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq recently increased, but may decline soon

graph of U.S. crude oil imports from selected countries, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Preliminary Crude Imports

U.S. crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, two of the United States’ main sources for imported crude oil, have risen since reaching relatively low points in 2014 and 2015. On a combined basis, crude oil imports from these countries are the highest since late 2012. However, recent market developments, including the November 2016 agreement among certain members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce production and the recent widening of price differences between Dubai/Oman crude oil and U.S.-produced Mars crude oil, suggest that U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq are now becoming less attractive to U.S. refiners.

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Feb 23, 2017

China’s use of methanol in liquid fuels has grown rapidly since 2000

graph of China methanol consumption in fuel products, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Argus Media Group

China is the global leader in methanol use and has recently expanded methanol production capacity. Since the early 2000s, China’s methanol consumption in fuel products has risen sharply and is estimated to have been more than 500,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016.

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Feb 22, 2017

Liquefied natural gas exports expected to drive growth in U.S. natural gas trade

graph of natural gas trade in the AEO2017 reference case, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2017 Interactive Table Viewer

The United States is expected to become a net exporter of natural gas on an average annual basis by 2018, according to the recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO2017) Reference case. The transition to net exporter is driven by declining pipeline imports, growing pipeline exports, and increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In most AEO2017 cases, the United States is also projected to become a net exporter of total energy in the 2020s in large part because of increasing natural gas exports.

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Feb 21, 2017

U.S. crude oil production increases following higher drilling activity

graph of U.S. crude oil production, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

U.S. crude oil production increased for the second consecutive month in November 2016, the first time this has occurred since early 2015. Increased drilling activity in the Permian region, which spans Texas and New Mexico, as well as the start of a number of new projects in the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM), more than offset declining production from other regions in October and November 2016.

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Feb 17, 2017

Lower airline fuel costs reduce U.S. airlines’ operating expenses, increase net profits

graph of U.S. service passenger airlines operating revenue and expenses, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Lower crude oil prices in recent years have translated to lower fuel costs and overall lower operating expenses for U.S. passenger airlines. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), U.S. passenger airlines’ collective net profit increased to $25.6 billion in 2015, up from $7.5 billion in 2014. Much of that increase is attributed to lower expenditures for kerosene-based aviation fuels, which fell by $16.5 billion from 2014 to 2015. Jet fuel spot prices remained favorable for airlines in 2016, averaging $1.25 per gallon, compared to an average of $1.53 per gallon in 2015, well below the average of $2.92 per gallon over the 2011–14 period.

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Feb 16, 2017

U.S. uranium production lowest since 2005

graph of U.S. uranium concentrate production, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Quarterly Domestic Uranium Production Report
Note: 2016 values are preliminary.

U.S. production of uranium concentrate (U3O8) totaled 2.9 million pounds in 2016, 13% lower than the uranium produced in 2015 and the lowest annual U.S. production since 2005. U.S. uranium concentrate production in 2016 was less than 7% of the historical peak production level of 43.7 million pounds in 1980.

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Feb 15, 2017

EIA’s short-term global oil demand outlook considers the role of economic activity

graph of changes in liquids consumption and oil consumption-weighted gross domestic product, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, February 2017
Note: OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Oil plays a crucial role in the global economy—from the production of goods to the transportation of people and freight. For this reason, economic activity and oil consumption tend to move together, particularly in developing economies. This relationship makes gross domestic product (GDP) an important driver of oil consumption.

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Feb 14, 2017

Projected electricity generation mix is sensitive to policies, natural gas prices

graph of U.S. net electricity generation, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2017 Interactive Table Viewer

The mix of fuels used to generate electricity in the United States has changed in response to differences in the expected cost of fuels and electricity-generating technology costs and their deployment. These factors, together with policies affecting emissions from power generation, will determine the generation fuel mix of the future.

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Feb 13, 2017

Tight oil expected to make up most of U.S. oil production increase through 2040

graph of U.S. oil production, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2017 Reference case

Republished February 22, 2017, 5:30 p.m. to correct an error in the listed Permian Basin plays.

EIA’s recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO2017) Reference case projects that U.S. tight oil production will increase to more than 6 million barrels per day (b/d) in the coming decade, making up most of total U.S. oil production. After 2026, tight oil production remains relatively constant through 2040 in the Reference case as tight oil development moves into less productive areas and as well productivity decreases. Side cases with different resource and technology assumptions result in different tight oil and total U.S. oil production projections.

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