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Today in Energy

Feb 23, 2018

China becomes world’s second largest LNG importer, behind Japan

top five LNG importers, as explained in the article text
Source: GIIGNL LNG reports (2013-16), Global Trade Tracker export-import trade statistics (2017), and IHS Markit

China surpassed South Korea to become the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2017, according to data from IHS Markit and official Chinese government statistics. Chinese imports of LNG averaged 5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, exceeded only by Japanese imports of 11 Bcf/d. Imports of LNG by China, driven by government policies designed to reduce air pollution, increased by 1.6 Bcf/d (46%) in 2017, with monthly imports reaching 7.8 Bcf/d in December.

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Feb 22, 2018

Tight oil remains the leading source of future U.S. crude oil production

U.S. crude oil production in five AEO2018 cases, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2018

EIA’s recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) Reference case projects that U.S. tight oil production will generally increase through the early 2040s, when it will surpass 8.2 million barrels per day (b/d) and account for nearly 70% of total U.S. production. Tight oil production made up 54% of the U.S total in 2017. Development of tight oil resources is more sensitive than nontight oil to different assumptions of future crude oil prices, drilling technology, and resource availability, but tight oil remains the largest source of U.S. crude oil production in all of the AEO2018 sensitivity cases.

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Feb 21, 2018

Recent legislation mandates additional sales of U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve crude oil

SPR inventories and planned sales, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Note: Volumes sold in fiscal years 2017 through 2020 under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Section 404 are estimates based on projected prices of West Texas Intermediate crude oil in the February 2018 Short-Term Energy Outlook and Annual Energy Outlook 2018.

Recent legislation has directed the sale of more than 100 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in U.S. government fiscal years (FY) 2022 through 2027. Based on legislated sales established in multiple acts of Congress, the SPR could decline by about 40% in the coming decade while still meeting requirements for petroleum import coverage. Assuming no other legislation over this period, the SPR could decline from 695 million barrels at the start of 2017 to about 410 million barrels at the start of 2028.

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Feb 20, 2018

U.S. ethane consumption, exports to increase as new petrochemical plants come online

monthly U.S. ethane production, consumption, and exports, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook February 2017

Over the next two years, EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects growth in U.S. consumption of ethane in the petrochemical industry will exceed increases in consumption of all other petroleum and liquid products—such as motor gasoline, distillate, and jet fuel—combined. EIA also projects that ethane exports will continue increasing, as ethane is exported both by pipeline to Canada and by tankers to more distant destinations.

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Feb 16, 2018

U.S. coal production, exports, and prices increased in 2017

U.S. coal production and weekly spot steam prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Coal Data Browser, Short-Term Energy Outlook, and Coal Markets

EIA expects total 2017 U.S. coal production to be 773 million short tons (MMst), 45 MMst higher than in 2016 and the largest year-over-year tonnage increase since 2001. Coal prices across the United States rose as well, especially for Central Appalachian coal. An increase in demand for U.S. coal exports more than offset a slight decline in U.S. coal consumption, contributing to higher coal production in 2017.

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Feb 15, 2018

U.S. proved reserves of natural gas up in 2016, oil reserves remained unchanged

U.S. natural gas, crude oil, and lease condensate proved reserves, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves

The United States had 341.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas proved reserves as of the end of 2016, an increase of 5% from 2015, according to EIA’s recently released U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report. U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves remained virtually unchanged from their 2015 level, at 35.2 billion barrels.

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Feb 14, 2018

U.S. imports of solar photovoltaic modules mainly come from Asia

U.S. photovoltaic module imports, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-63B, Annual Photovoltaic Cell/Module Shipments

Updated February 14, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. to correct the date of the tariff approval.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) module imports into the United States have increased significantly in recent years and represent a sizable portion of installed solar capacity. In 2016, U.S. imports of solar modules measured in direct current (DC) totaled 13 gigawatts (GWDC)—up from 2 GWDC in 2010—with two-thirds of 2016 imports coming from Malaysia, China, and South Korea.

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Feb 13, 2018

Electricity prices are highest in Hawaii but expenditures are highest in South Carolina

average residential electricity price and expenditures, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System and Electric Power Annual

Hawaii has the highest residential electricity prices in the United States, averaging 27.5 cents per kilowatthour (kWh) in 2016—more than twice the national average. However, residential customers in four states spent more per household for electricity that year: South Carolina, Alabama, Connecticut, and Maryland. In South Carolina, the average residential electricity customer spent $1,753 for electricity in 2016, about $400 more than the U.S. average and almost twice as much as the average customer in New Mexico.

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Feb 12, 2018

The United States is projected to become a net energy exporter in most AEO2018 cases

U.S. net energy trade, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2018

EIA projects that the United States will become a net energy exporter in 2022 in the newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) Reference case, primarily driven by changes in petroleum and natural gas markets. The transition from net energy importer to net energy exporter occurs even earlier in some sensitivity cases that modify assumptions about oil prices or resource extraction. Sensitivity cases with less energy production project that the United States will remain a net energy importer through 2050.

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Feb 9, 2018

Utilities continue to increase spending on transmission infrastructure

investment in transmission infrastructure by major utilities, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Financial Reports, as accessed by Ventyx Velocity Suite
Note: RTOs are regional transmission organizations.

Spending on infrastructure to deliver power to homes and businesses has increased steadily over the past 10 years as utilities build, upgrade, and replace station equipment, poles, fixtures, and overhead lines and devices. Based on information compiled from utility reports to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—filed by utilities representing about 70% of total U.S. electric load—those utilities spent about $21 billion on capital additions in 2016. The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) estimates that utility spending on transmission infrastructure continued to increase in 2017.

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