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Today in Energy

Sep 21, 2021

Crude oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, are down more than 40% from start of 2021

weekly U.S. crude oil inventories and storage capacity at Cushing, OK
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report and Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity Report
Note: Crude oil inventories shown here are total stocks minus pipeline fill and stocks in transit by water, rail, and truck.

Crude oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, totaled 32.9 million barrels (excluding pipeline fill and stocks in transit by water and rail) in the week ending September 10, which is a 42% decrease since the beginning of the year. Crude oil inventories at Cushing are now 26% lower than normal, based on the previous five-year (2016–2020) average for that time of year. The Cushing storage hub is the crude oil delivery point for the NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures contract and is home to 14% of U.S. commercial tank and underground crude oil working storage capacity.

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Sep 20, 2021

World’s longest-operating solar thermal facility is retiring most of its capacity

U.S. utility-scale solar thermal electric generating capacity
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Electric Generator Inventory
Note: SEGS 1 and SEGS 2 were replaced by photovoltaic systems Sunray 2 and Sunray 3, respectively, in 2017 after being decommissioned. They appear in EIA data as Sunray 2 and Sunray 3.

The Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) facility in California’s Mojave Desert retired five of its solar plants (SEGS 3 through 7) in July 2021 and plans to retire a sixth (SEGS 8) in September 2021, based on information submitted to EIA and published in our Preliminary Electric Generator Inventory. After SEGS 8 is retired, only one solar thermal unit at SEGS will remain operating (SEGS 9). SEGS, which began operating in 1984, is the world’s longest-operating solar thermal power facility.

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Sep 17, 2021

The U.S. exported slightly more petroleum than it imported in the first half of 2021

U.S. crude oil and petroleum product trade
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

Our Petroleum Supply Monthly trade data show that the United States exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported during the first half of 2021 by 120,000 barrels per day (b/d), or less than 1% of combined crude oil and petroleum product exports and imports.

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Sep 16, 2021

Hurricane Ida disrupted crude oil production and refining activity

monthly crude oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)

On Sunday, August 29, Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane. As a result of the hurricane, 96% of crude oil production and 94% of natural gas production in the U.S. federally administered areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) were shut in, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. At least nine refineries shut down or reduced production. As a result, we reduced our forecast for crude oil production and refinery runs in our September Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

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Sep 15, 2021

Hurricane Ida caused at least 1.2 million electricity customers to lose power

electricity customer outages from Hurricane Ida
Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response

Hurricane Ida resulted in service outages for up to 1.2 million electricity customers across eight states, according to situation reports from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). Hurricane Ida made landfall on the afternoon of Sunday, August 29, as a Category 4 storm near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The hurricane initially caused more than one million customer outages in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. As the storm continued toward the Northeast, it caused outages in several northeastern states on September 1.

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Sep 14, 2021

Electric load in southern MISO fell as Hurricane Ida moved through Louisiana

hourly electric load in southern Midcontinent Independent System Operator
Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on data from Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Market Reports

As Category 4 Hurricane Ida made landfall along the Southeast coast of Louisiana near New Orleans on August 29, 2021, the electric load in the southern region of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) decreased. Hourly electric loads on August 30, the day after landfall, were about 25% to 30% lower than the average for that day of the year over the past six years. Southern MISO experienced a similar decline in electric load last year when Hurricane Laura made landfall.

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Sep 13, 2021

EIA releases plant-level U.S. biofuels production capacity data

biodiesel production capacity by state
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2021 Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity

As of January 1, 2021, total U.S. biofuels plant production capacity reached 21 billion gallons per year (gal/y) (or 1.3 million barrels per day [b/d]), as reported by 278 facilities. Fuel ethanol producers accounted for 85% of U.S. total biofuels production capacity, followed by biodiesel producers at 11%, and the remaining 4% by other renewable fuel producers.

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Sep 10, 2021

U.S. natural gas consumption to decline through 2022, led by the electric power sector

U.S. annual natural gas consumption by sector
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. natural gas consumption by end use, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)

In EIA’s September Short-Term Energy Outlook, we expect U.S. consumption of natural gas to decline in 2021 and 2022 from 2020 levels. We forecast that consumption of natural gas will decline in all end-use sectors in the United States except in the industrial sector and for other non-sector-specific uses (lease and plant fuel, pipeline and distribution use, and vehicle use). The largest decline will occur in the electric power sector. We expect total U.S. consumption of natural gas to average 82.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2021, down 0.7 Bcf/d from 2020. We expect U.S. natural gas consumption in 2022 to increase slightly from 2021 as increasing consumption in the industrial sector offsets declining consumption in the electric power sector, but still remains lower than the 2020 level.

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Sep 9, 2021

In 2019, U.S. inflation-adjusted energy expenditures fell 5%

U.S. energy expenditures
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System and Monthly Energy Review

U.S. energy expenditures, or the amount of money spent by consumers to purchase energy, fell to $1.2 trillion in 2019, down 5% in real terms compared with 2018, according to the latest data in our State Energy Data System (SEDS). From 2018 to 2019, total energy consumption in the United States fell 1%, and average total energy prices, adjusted for inflation, fell 5%, contributing to the decline in total energy expenditures.

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Sep 8, 2021

Number of drilled but uncompleted wells declines

Permian region oil well counts
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Drilling Productivity Report

Based on our latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), 5,957 drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) were in the United States in all DPR regions in July 2021, the lowest for any month since November 2017. The decline in DUCs in most major U.S. onshore oil-producing regions, especially in the Permian region, reflects more well completions and, at the same time, less new well drilling activity. The completion of more wells is increasing oil production in the Permian region, but the completions are reducing the DUC inventories, which could limit oil production growth in the United States in the coming months.

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