U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Today in Energy
In 2016, U.S. crude oil exports averaged 520,000 barrels per day (b/d), 55,000 b/d (12%) above the 2015 level, despite a year-over-year decline in domestic crude oil production. Even though oil exports have increased, growth in U.S. crude oil exports has slowed significantly from its pace from 2013 to 2015, when annual U.S. crude oil production grew rapidly.
Asia is the world’s largest consumer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), accounting for three-quarters of global LNG trade and one-third of total global natural gas trade. However, the region lacks a pricing benchmark that can reliably reflect supply and demand changes in Asia’s natural gas markets.
This February, Maryland increased the renewables generation target in its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 25% of retail electricity sales by 2020, replacing the earlier target of 20% by 2022. The change occurred as legislators in both houses of the state’s General Assembly voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation they had first passed in 2016.
Brazil generates the third-highest amount of electricity in the Americas, behind only the United States and Canada. In 2016, Brazil had an installed generating capacity of 137 gigawatts (GW) and generated 560 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. Most of Brazil’s generation capacity is located in the Amazon basin, north of most urban load centers, which are located in the southeast, contributing to the complexity of Brazil’s transmission and distribution system.
Republished March 23, 2017, 11:30 a.m. to correct the percentage of California still in D1 status.
For the first time since 2011, California’s drought is significantly weakening—a result of one of the wettest winters on record. California has experienced record levels of precipitation this winter, and unlike last winter, cooler temperatures over the 2016–2017 winter season have enabled the precipitation to build up snowpack (the total accumulated snow and ice on the ground). High precipitation and snowpack levels, both of which supply hydroelectric generators throughout the year, suggest that hydroelectric generation in California in 2017 will significantly exceed 2016 levels.
U.S. imports of biomass-based diesel, which include biodiesel and renewable diesel, increased by 65% in 2016 to reach a record level of 916 million gallons. Increasing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and the recently expired biodiesel blender’s tax credit were strong drivers of biomass-based diesel demand in 2016, incentivizing increased levels of imports of both biodiesel and renewable diesel. The biodiesel blender’s tax credit has expired several times in the past, most recently expiring at the end of 2014, only to be retroactively reinstated.
Despite increasing crude oil prices throughout most of 2016, total U.S. crude oil production in 2016 was below its 2015 level. However, monthly production began growing in the fourth quarter of the year after declining over the first three quarters. Total 2016 production remained above the five-year average. With the removal of restrictions on exports of domestically produced crude oil at the end of 2015, crude oil exports increased. At the same time, the difference between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices narrowed, which made crude oil imports relatively more attractive and caused total imports of crude oil in 2016 to also increase.
Note: Inventories include propane/propylene for fuel use only.
U.S. propane inventories, which had been above historical norms since mid-2014, declined by 59 million barrels from the beginning of October 2016 through early March 2017, the largest decline on record for this period, despite unseasonably mild temperatures. Inventories at the beginning of October were nearly 29 million barrels above the previous five-year average, but by March 3, fell to just slightly below the preceding five-year average for the first time since May 2014, based on data from EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report. The strong inventory draws occurred despite weak heating demand this winter and mainly reflect rapid growth in propane exports.
The United States exported more than 1 billion gallons (68,000 barrels per day) of fuel ethanol in 2016, an increase of 26% from export levels in 2015. U.S. imports of ethanol, which are relatively much smaller, decreased by 60% to 36 million gallons in 2016. The United States remained a net exporter of fuel ethanol for the seventh consecutive year, exporting ethanol to 34 different countries, with Asian and South American markets receiving the highest volumes.
Changes in North American energy markets over the past decade have strengthened the supply of transportation fuels, including motor gasoline, distillates, and jet fuel, in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions, according to a new study commissioned by EIA.