Today in Energy

Jun 23, 2017

U.S. uranium production, prices, and employment all fell in 2016

graph of U.S. uranium concentrate production, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review and Domestic Uranium Production Report

Production of U.S. uranium concentrate decreased 40% between 2014 and 2016 to 2.9 million pounds U3O8 in 2016, the lowest annual total since 2005. Uranium production has been affected by falling uranium prices, with spot prices falling from $34 per pound (lb) in January 2016 to $18/lb in November, the lowest uranium spot price since May 2004.

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Jun 22, 2017

Earthquake trends in Oklahoma and other states likely related to wastewater injection

graph of all earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater in the United States east of the Rockies, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Catalog

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the number of earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains has increased dramatically since 2009. More earthquakes in these areas have coincided with the increase in oil and natural gas production from shale formations. Seismic events caused by human activity—also known as induced seismicity—are most often caused by the underground injection of wastewater produced during the oil and natural gas extraction process.

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Jun 21, 2017

Growing octane needs widen the price difference between premium and regular gasoline

graph of U.S. retail gasoline prices and difference between premium and regular gasoline prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

The difference between U.S. average retail prices for premium and regular gasoline reached 50 cents per gallon in late 2016, and it has remained near that level so far in 2017. This price difference, or spread, has been generally increasing since 2000. Many factors on both the supply and demand sides are influencing this trend.

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Jun 20, 2017

U.S. refineries are running at record-high levels

graph of U.S. gross inputs to petroleum refineries, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report
Note: Refinery gross inputs include crude oil and other oils processed through crude distillation units.

Gross inputs to U.S. petroleum refineries, also referred to as refinery runs, averaged a record high 17.7 million barrels per day (b/d) for the week ending May 26, before dropping slightly to 17.5 million b/d for the week ending June 2 and 17.6 million b/d for the week ending June 9. Product supplied to the U.S. market as well as inventories and exports are also at relatively high levels.

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Jun 19, 2017

Dishwashers are among the least-used appliances in American homes

graph of presence and use of major appliances in U.S. homes, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey

Compared with other major home appliances such as clothes washers, dryers, and cooking equipment, dishwashers are both less pervasive and less likely to be used when available. Of the 80 million households that have a dishwasher, 16 million (almost 20%) did not use their dishwasher in 2015, based on data from EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). On the whole, a little more than half (54%) of all U.S. households both have a dishwasher and use it at least once a week.

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Jun 16, 2017

Competition between coal and natural gas affects power markets

graph of monthly net electricity from coal and natural gas, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

In 2016, natural gas provided 34% of total electricity generation, surpassing coal to become the leading generation source. Natural gas first exceeded coal as the most common electricity fuel on a monthly basis in April 2015 and on an annual basis in 2016. The increase in natural gas generation since 2005 is primarily a result of the continued cost competitiveness of natural gas relative to coal.

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Jun 15, 2017

Global oil markets expected to tighten in third quarter 2017, then loosen through 2018

graph of global production and consumption of crude oil and other liquids, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, June 2017

Forecast world production of crude oil and other liquids in 2017 and 2018 was revised slightly downward in the June edition of EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), which was issued after the May 25 announcement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of an extension to production cuts that were originally set to end this month.

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Jun 14, 2017

Wind and solar in March accounted for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time

graph of monthly net electricity generation from selected fuels, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

For the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10% of total electricity generation in the United States, based on March data in EIA’s Electric Power Monthly. Electricity generation from both of these energy sources has grown with increases in wind and solar generating capacity. On an annual basis, wind and solar made up 7% of total U.S. electric generation in 2016.

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Jun 13, 2017

Three Mile Island is the latest nuclear power plant to announce retirement plans

map of retired nuclear power plants and nuclear power plants that have planned to retire, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Nuclear power plant data, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and IAEA Power Reactor Information System

At the end of May, Exelon, the owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in southeastern Pennsylvania, announced its intention to retire the plant in 2019 unless the company is given assistance by the state to help keep the plant financially viable. Exelon’s announcement marks the sixth announced nuclear retirement in the past seven years.

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Jun 12, 2017

Reporting oil companies’ proved reserves in 2016 decline for second consecutive year

graph of global proved liquids reserves reported by 68 publicly traded companies, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Evaluate Energy
Note: Rest of world includes associated companies’ reserves with unspecified geographies.

Republished June 13, 2017, 4:30 p.m. to correct for double counting in company level reporting.

Annual reports of 67 publicly traded oil companies indicated that their aggregate proved liquids reserves declined in 2016 for the second consecutive year. The decline in proved reserves was heavily concentrated in a few companies that reduced their estimated reserves from Canadian oil sands projects. Downward revisions of existing resources, relatively low extensions and discoveries, and relatively high production also contributed to a decline in proved reserves.

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