Today in Energy

December 1, 2017

United States, Canada, and Mexico launch North American Energy Information website

image of NACEI website, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

At the North American Energy Ministerial on November 14, 2017, in Houston, Texas, United States Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources James Gordon Carr, and Mexico’s Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell launched the North American Cooperation on Energy Information (NACEI) website. The website consolidates energy-related data, maps, analyses, and references from the three countries in English, Spanish, and French.

Canada and Mexico are key energy trade partners with the United States. The NACEI site’s overview page shows energy flows among the countries for crude oil, natural gas, and electricity. In 2016, Canada was the largest source of U.S. crude oil imports, supplying more crude oil to the United States than all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) combined. Mexico was the fourth-largest source of U.S. crude oil imports in 2016, behind Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Canada was also the top destination for U.S. crude oil exports in 2016, receiving 61% of all U.S. crude oil exports.

Natural gas trade flows among the three countries are also significant: Canada is the largest source of U.S. natural gas imports—mostly through pipelines that cross the border into states such as Idaho and Montana. Mexico is the largest destination of U.S. natural gas exports—mostly through pipeline border crossings in Texas.

Electricity trade with Canada and Mexico, while totaling less than 2% of U.S. consumption, is still an important part of electricity markets as cross-border transmission connections support regional electric system reliability. In 2016, the United States imported 73.1 million megawatthours (MWh) from Canada and 1.5 million MWh from Mexico, while exporting 9.3 million MWh and 2.3 million MWh to those countries, respectively.

The new NACEI website provides detailed data by energy source and country of origin with conversion factors, data units, and definitional cross references.

An interactive map has multiple layers showing electric power plants, refineries, natural gas processing plants, and other components of energy infrastructure in the three countries. Weather-related layers show key energy infrastructure that could potentially be affected by hurricanes, floods, and other extreme weather events.

The outlook section is designed to improve coordination and understanding of national energy outlooks and models of the interrelationships among the three countries as an integrated North American energy system.

The primary participating agencies in the NACEI initiative include the Department of Natural Resources, Statistics Canada, and the National Energy Board from Canada; the Secretaría de Energía, Comisión Reguladora de Energía, Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos, Petróleos Mexicanos, Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Centro Nacional de Control de Gas Natural, Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía from Mexico; and the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Census Bureau from the United States.

The goal of the initiative is to create an institutional framework for consultation and for sharing publicly available materials to improve energy information and energy outlooks for North America. Collaboration among the three countries has already improved data quality for some data series. The current areas of focus include:

  • Comparing, validating, and improving respective energy import and export information
  • Sharing publicly available geospatial information related to energy infrastructure
  • Exchanging views and information on projections of cross-border energy flows
  • Harmonizing terminology, concepts, and definitions of energy products

Principal contributor: Pauline George