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Today in Energy

May 24, 2019

U.S. gasoline prices this Memorial Day weekend are nearly the same as last year’s

weekly U.S. average regular retail gasoline price
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

Heading into the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, regular gasoline prices averaged $2.85 per gallon (gal) nationally on May 20, slightly lower than last year’s price of $2.92/gal before the holiday weekend.

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May 23, 2019

California gasoline prices increase following refinery outages and declining inventories

weekly retail gasoline and spot crude oil prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update, and Thomson Reuters

In early May, the California retail gasoline price averaged $4.01 per gallon (gal), surpassing the $4/gal mark for the first time since 2014. By comparison, the U.S. retail gasoline price averaged $2.90/gal. Much of the recent increase in California’s gasoline prices is attributable to refinery outages—both planned and unplanned—and falling gasoline inventories in the region.

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May 22, 2019

Con Edison limits natural gas service due to pipeline constraints into New York City area

pipeline infrastructure for New York City and Westchester county
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

In January 2019, Consolidated Edison, Inc., (Con Edison)—the largest utility provider in the New York City area, serving 10 million customers—announced a moratorium on new natural gas connections in most of Westchester County, effective March 16. Demand for natural gas in the New York City area has increased in recent years, leading to concerns about reliability of service. Con Edison claimed it cannot guarantee uninterrupted service to new natural gas connections. Between the announcement of the moratorium and its start on March 16, Con Edison received 1,600 applications for firm natural gas service in the moratorium area. Customers on firm natural gas service contracts have delivery priority above those on interruptible contracts.

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May 21, 2019

Nonpowered dams can be converted to hydroelectric dams for electricity generation

nonpowered dams planned to be converted to hydroelectric dams
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

According to EIA’s most recent electric generator inventory, 32 dams that currently do not generate electricity are planned to be converted to hydroelectric dams, which will add more than 330 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity to the grid over the next several years.

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May 20, 2019

Venezuelan crude oil production falls to lowest level since January 2003

monthly venezueal crude oil production
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

In April 2019, Venezuela's crude oil production averaged 830,000 barrels per day (b/d), down from 1.2 million b/d at the beginning of the year, according to EIA’s May 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook. This average is the lowest level since January 2003, when a nationwide strike and civil unrest largely brought the operations of Venezuela's state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), to a halt. Widespread power outages, mismanagement of the country's oil industry, and U.S. sanctions directed at Venezuela's energy sector and PdVSA have all contributed to the recent declines.

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May 17, 2019

Coal stockpiles at U.S. coal power plants were at their lowest point in over a decade

coal stocks for electricity generation
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

U.S. coal stockpiles decreased to 98.7 million tons in February 2019, their lowest value in more than a decade. Total U.S. coal stockpiles have fallen as more coal plants have retired.

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May 16, 2019

New EIA product expands access to state and regional energy information

state energy portal
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Portal (Beta)

EIA’s new State Energy Portal provides greater access to more state-level U.S. energy data with interactive, customizable views of more than 150 charts, tables, and maps. Infographics show the overall energy context for the states; state rankings provide a way to compare states. Users can download charts and embed them in their websites. EIA developed this tool in response to feedback from a wide variety of customers who use its state-level data. EIA released the new portal as a Beta product on May 15, 2019.

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Tags: states

May 15, 2019

Tax credit phaseout encourages more wind power plants to be added by end of year

wind capacity additions by year
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

Republished May 15, 2019 to clarify the timing of the production tax credit phaseout.

EIA expects that U.S. wind capacity additions in 2019 will total 12.7 gigawatts (GW), exceeding annual capacity additions for the previous six years but falling short of the record 13.3 GW of wind capacity added in 2012. Expected capacity additions discussed in this article are based on projects reported to EIA through surveys and reported in EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.

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May 14, 2019

EIA revises its crude oil price forecast upward as supply expectations change

monthly average Brent crude spot price
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January, April, and May 2019 editions

In its May 2019 edition of the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA revised its price forecast for Brent crude oil upward, reflecting price increases in recent months, more recent data, and changing expectations of global oil markets. Several supply constraints have caused oil markets to be generally tighter and oil prices to be higher so far in 2019 than previous STEOs expected.

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May 13, 2019

Liquefied natural gas imports limited price spikes in New England this winter

new England LNG sendout and daily natural gas prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Natural Gas Intelligence and Genscape
Note: Includes daily natural gas sendout from Everett LNG, TGP Distrigas receipt, Northeast Gateway, and Canaport.

During winter 2018–2019, imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at terminals serving New England played an important role in moderating natural gas prices in the region. LNG imports are regasified at these terminals and then sent to natural gas distribution networks. These sendout volumes increased during times of high spot natural gas prices at the Algonquin Citygate, a widely referenced trading hub and benchmark for natural gas prices in New England, effectively limiting further increases in spot prices.

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