Today in Energy

Nov 22, 2017

U.S. average gasoline prices this Thanksgiving are higher than the previous two years

graph of U.S. average Thanksgiving price for regular retail gasoline, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline averaged $2.57 per gallon (gal), up 41 cents/gal from the same time last year. Although gasoline prices are higher than in both 2015 and 2016, the Thanksgiving 2017 gasoline price is still the third-lowest since 2008.

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Nov 21, 2017

Natural gas inventories end October just below the previous five-year average

graph of weekly lower 48 working natural gas inventories, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Working natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states as of October 31, 2017, totaled 3,784 billion cubic feet (Bcf), as interpolated from EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report data. Natural gas storage levels typically increase from April through October, although net injections sometimes occur in November. Inventories at the end of October 2017 were 2% lower than the previous five-year end-of-October average and 5% lower than the record-setting end-of-October level of 3,977 Bcf last year.

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Nov 20, 2017

Link between growth in economic activity and electricity use is changing around the world

graph of GDP and electricity use growth rates, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, World Bank

Growth in economic activity (measured as gross domestic product) has tended historically to be coupled with increases in electricity use as populations grow and generate more goods and services. However, more recently this relationship has been decoupling in many countries. The amount of decoupling in various countries is caused by many factors—including the countries’ relative level of development, electrification, economic makeup, and income levels.

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Nov 17, 2017

Decommissioning nuclear reactors is a long-term and costly process

map of decommissioned or decommissioning U.S. nuclear reactors, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Nuclear Regulatory Commission and IAEA Power Reactor Information System

Since 2013, six commercial nuclear reactors in the United States have shut down, and an additional eight reactors have announced plans to retire by 2025. The retirement process for nuclear power plants involves disposing of nuclear waste and decontaminating equipment and facilities to reduce residual radioactivity, making it much more expensive and time consuming than retiring other power plants. As of 2017, a total of 10 commercial nuclear reactors in the United States have been successfully decommissioned, and another 20 U.S. nuclear reactors are currently in different stages of the decommissioning process.

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Nov 16, 2017

Growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions expected to slow

graph of global energy-related CO2 emissions in IEO2017 reference case, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2017 Reference case

EIA projects that growth in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy-related sources will slow despite increasing energy consumption. EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) Reference case projects that energy-related CO2 emissions will grow 0.6% per year from 2015 to 2040, a slower rate of growth than the 1.8% per year experienced from 1990 to 2015. Emissions from countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) account for all of EIA’s projected growth in energy-related CO2 emissions.

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Nov 15, 2017

Transportation constraints and export costs widen the Brent-WTI crude oil price spread

graph of monthly crude oil prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

In its November Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts the price difference between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil priced at Cushing, Oklahoma, and Brent, the global crude oil price benchmark, to remain at $6 per barrel (b) through the first quarter of 2018 before narrowing to $4/b during the second half of 2018. WTI averaged $2/b lower than Brent through the first eight months of 2017 and averaged $6/b lower than Brent in September and October.

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Nov 14, 2017

Russia exports most of its crude oil production, mainly to Europe

graph of Russia crude oil and condensate exports by destination, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Russian export statistics and country import statistics from Global Trade Tracker
Note: OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Russia exported more than 5.2 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil and condensate and more than 2.4 million b/d of petroleum products in 2016, mostly to countries in Europe. Exports of crude oil and petroleum products represented nearly 70% of total Russian petroleum liquids production in 2016. Russia’s oil and natural gas industry is a key component of Russia’s economy, with revenues from oil and natural gas activities—including exports—making up 36% of Russia’s federal budget revenues.

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Nov 13, 2017

CO2 emissions from coal fell by record amount in 2015, led by Texas and Midwest

graph of energy-related coal emissions, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with coal consumption in the United States fell by a record 231 million metric tons in 2015. More than 60% of the annual decrease occurred in 10 states, led by Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, according to EIA’s state-level carbon dioxide emissions data. Most of the decline in 2015 U.S. coal consumption occurred in the electric power sector, where reduced coal-fired electricity generation was largely offset by higher natural gas-fired electricity generation.

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Nov 9, 2017

Coal stockpiles at U.S. coal power plants have fallen since last year

graph of monthly coal stocks at electricity plants, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity Monthly Update

In August 2017, coal stockpiles at electric power plants were 144 million tons, the lowest monthly level since late 2014, according to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly. Coal stockpiles at U.S. coal-fired power plants typically follow a seasonal pattern of increasing during the spring and fall, when electricity demand is relatively low, and decreasing during the summer and winter, when electricity demand is relatively high. Coal stockpiles typically reach their lowest point in August.

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Nov 8, 2017

EIA forecasts growth in world nuclear electricity capacity, led by non-OECD countries

graph of projected nuclear capacity in the IEO2017 reference case, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2017 Reference case
Note: OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) projects that global nuclear capacity will grow at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2016 through 2040, led predominantly by countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). EIA expects China to continue leading world nuclear growth, followed by India. This growth is expected to offset declines in nuclear capacity in the United States, Japan, and countries in Europe.

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