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Today in Energy

Dec 13, 2018

South Korea stopped importing condensate from Iran before receiving sanctions waivers

South Korea condensate imports by source
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on ClipperData, LLC

South Korea, the world’s leading importer of condensates, has sought alternatives to partially offset declines in imports of Iranian condensates during the past few months, particularly in light of U.S. sanctions on Iranian exports of crude oil and condensate. South Korea purchased close to half a million barrels per day (b/d) of condensates in 2017, accounting for more than 25% of global condensate trade. In the first seven months of 2018, 38% of South Korea’s condensate imports came from Iran. South Korea ceased importing Iranian condensates in August. Subsequently, the United States granted South Korea an exemption to import about 200,000 b/d of condensates from Iran for 180 days.

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Dec 12, 2018

For one week in November, the U.S. was a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products

Weekly net crude oil and petroleum product trade
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report

During the week ending November 30, 2018, the United States exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported for the first time in weekly data going back to 1991. From November 24–30, the United States exported an estimated record 3.2 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil as well as an estimated 5.8 million b/d of petroleum products such as distillate fuel oil, motor gasoline, and propane.

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Dec 11, 2018

Changes in coal sector led to less SO2 and NOx emissions from electric power industry

electric power industry so2 and nox emissions
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity detailed datasets

Annual U.S. electric power industry emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have declined by 88% and 76%, respectively, between their peaks in 1997 and 2017. During this period, coal-fired generation was responsible for 90% of SO2 emissions and 76% of NOx emissions from the U.S. electric power industry. Among other factors, declining coal-fired generation and implementation of environmental regulations under the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 have both contributed to the decrease in electric power industry SO2 and NOx emissions.

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Dec 10, 2018

U.S. liquefied natural gas export capacity to more than double by the end of 2019

U.S. LNG export capacity
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, company investor presentations

EIA projects that U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity will reach 8.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by the end of 2019, making it the third largest in the world behind Australia and Qatar. Currently, U.S. LNG export capacity stands at 3.6 Bcf/d, and it is expected to end the year at 4.9 Bcf/d as two new liquefaction units (called trains) become operational.

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Dec 7, 2018

November U.S. natural gas prices increased beyond previous market expectations

daily Henry Hub natural gas spot price
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Thomson Reuters

On November 23, the natural gas spot price at the Henry Hub in Louisiana was $4.70 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), the highest price since a temporary spike in January 2018, and before that, the highest price since June 2014. The relatively sudden increase in prices exceeded the expectation of many market participants, based on the prices and volatility of futures and options contracts at the beginning of November. Prices have come down slightly in the past week, but they remain at a higher level than during much of the past four years.

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Dec 6, 2018

EPA finalizes Renewable Fuel Standard for 2019, reflecting cellulosic biofuel shortfalls

EIA 2007 volume standards and RFS volume requirements
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program
Note: Data for biomass-based diesel are actual gallons, not ethanol equivalent.

On November 30, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule for the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, with the total U.S. renewable fuel volume requirement set 3% higher than the 2018 mandate, but nearly 30% lower than the statutory volume standards set forth by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). Similar to previous years, EPA exercised its cellulosic waiver authority to decrease volume standards for cellulosic biofuels because growth has been slower than Congress had envisioned in EISA, passed more than a decade ago.

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Dec 4, 2018

U.S. coal consumption in 2018 expected to be the lowest in 39 years

U.S. coal consumption
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review October 2018 and Short-Term Energy Outlook November 2018

EIA expects total U.S. coal consumption in 2018 to fall to 691 million short tons (MMst), a 4% decline from 2017 and the lowest level since 1979. U.S. coal consumption has been falling since its peak in 2007, and EIA forecasts that 2018 coal consumption will be 437 MMst (44%) lower than 2007 levels, mainly driven by declines in coal use in the electric power sector.

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Dec 3, 2018

Pipeline constraints, refinery maintenance push Western Canadian crude oil prices lower

daily Brent and WCS crude oil prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bloomberg L.P.

Planned maintenance at several large refineries in the Midwest has decreased the volume of crude oil processed in the region, which has resulted in lower prices of Western Canadian Select (WCS), a crude oil typically processed in the Midwest. WCS crude oil is typically priced lower than other crude oils because of differences in crude oil quality, but increasing production of WCS and pipeline capacity constraints in Western Canada have resulted in even lower prices of WCS compared with crude oil benchmarks such as Brent.

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Nov 30, 2018

Average U.S. electricity customer interruptions totaled nearly 8 hours in 2017

average U.S. customer hours interrupted
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report (EIA-861 data file)

Electric power for U.S. customers was interrupted for an average of 7.8 hours (470 minutes) in 2017, nearly double the average total duration of interruptions experienced in 2016. More major events such as hurricanes and winter storms occurred in 2017, and the total duration of interruptions caused by major events was longer. Excluding major events, the average duration of interruptions customers experienced was almost identical in 2016 and 2017, at about 2 hours in both years. In 2017, the average customer experienced 1.4 interruptions counting major events and 1.0 interruption excluding major events.

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Nov 29, 2018

U.S. crude oil and natural gas proved reserves set new records in 2017

U.S. natural gas, crude oil, and lease condensate reserves
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves

High prices and continued development of shale and tight resources drove proved reserves of both U.S. crude oil and natural gas to new records in 2017, according to EIA’s recently released U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report. Proved reserves of U.S. crude oil increased 19.5% from the end of 2016, reaching 39.2 billion barrels and surpassing the previous peak level of 39.0 billion barrels set in 1970. Proved reserves of natural gas increased 36.1% from the end of 2016 to reach 464.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2017, surpassing the previous record of 388.8 Tcf set in 2014.

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