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In-depth analysis
Feb 27, 2024

Biomass-based diesel and ethanol compliance credit prices decline 45% from start of year

inflation-adjusted daily spot prices for ethanol and biomass-based diesel RINs

Data source: Oil Price Information Service and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index
Note: RIN=renewable identification number. Real dollars are adjusted for inflation.

The price of compliance credits for biomass-based diesel and ethanol has decreased about 45% since the start of the year, when prices were already the lowest in about three years. The decline in the price of credits, known as renewable identification numbers (RINs), is due primarily to lower costs for agricultural feedstocks relative to petroleum fuels, and we expect prices to remain subdued due to record-high credit generation from the production of renewable diesel.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 26, 2024

Wholesale U.S. electricity prices were relatively low in 2023

wholesale electricity prices at select trading hubs
Data source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

After a volatile 2022, average wholesale electricity prices at most major trading hubs in the Lower 48 states generally declined and traded within more narrow price ranges in 2023, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Prices decreased primarily because of lower natural gas prices, mild temperatures at the start of the year, reduced average electricity loads in many regional markets, and improved hydroelectric conditions in California and the Southwest.

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In-depth analysis
Feb 22, 2024

Use of natural gas-fired generation differs in the United States by technology and region

Share of electricty generation by fuel type (2023)

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity Power Monthly

Natural gas is the single-largest source of energy used to generate electricity in the United States, making up 43% of electricity generation in 2023. Natural gas-fired power plants accounted for the second-most U.S. generating capacity additions in 2023, trailing only solar. Combined with increasing domestic supply and relatively low natural gas prices, the versatility of natural gas-fired power plants to meet a wide range of requirements across many U.S. markets is one of the main reasons for their growth. However, the dispatchability, efficiency, and broad regional coverage of natural gas-fired power plants vary significantly. In addition, decades of advancements in natural gas turbine efficiency mean that the age of natural gas-fired plants affects how those plants are used.

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In-depth analysis
Feb 21, 2024

U.S. energy flows through Panama Canal rose slightly in January

U.S. liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and ethane exports through the Panama Canal rose in January 2024 with a return to vessel traffic through the shipping channel as drought conditions eased. Transit volumes of LPG and ethane had fallen in late 2023 amid a historic drought at the Panama Canal.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 20, 2024

Retirements of U.S. electric generating capacity to slow in 2024

U.S. planned utility-scale electric-generating capacity additions
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, December 2023

Operators plan to retire 5.2 gigawatts (GW) of U.S. electric generating capacity in 2024, a 62% decrease from last year when 13.5 GW was retired and the least in any year since 2008, according to our latest Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. Coal and natural gas jointly account for 91% of the planned capacity retirements in the United States this year.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 15, 2024

Solar and battery storage to make up 81% of new U.S. electric-generating capacity in 2024

U.S. planned utility-scale electric-generating capacity additions
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, December 2023

Developers and power plant owners plan to add 62.8 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale electric-generating capacity in 2024, according to our latest Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. This addition would be 55% more added capacity than the 40.4 GW added in 2023 (the most since 2003) and points to a continued rise in industry activity. We expect solar to account for the largest share of new capacity in 2024, at 58%, followed by battery storage, at 23%.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 14, 2024

Industry to drive tripling of natural gas consumption in India by 2050

annual natural gas consumption in India by sector
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2023 (IEO2023)

In our International Energy Outlook 2023 (IEO2023), we project natural gas consumption to more than triple in India by 2050. We project annual growth of 4.4% over that period, more than twice the 2.0% annual growth rate of natural gas consumption in China, the next-fastest-growing country.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 13, 2024

Midwest refinery outage is affecting petroleum product markets

daily spot prices at U.S. gulf coast and chicago markets
Data source: Bloomberg, L.P.
Note: CBOB=conventional blendstock for oxygenate blending.

Spot petroleum product prices at the Chicago trading hub are increasing after an unplanned outage of bp’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana, on February 1. The 435,000-barrel-per-day (b/d) refinery, the largest in the Midwest (PADD 2), has been offline since then because of a power outage. Inventories of motor gasoline and distillate fuel in the Midwest are higher than average for this time of year, which could limit the outage’s effects on product availability and pricing.

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In-depth analysis
Feb 12, 2024

What is the outlook for the natural gas spot price in 2024 and 2025?

We expect the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price to average higher in 2024 and 2025 than in 2023, but to remain lower than $3.00 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), in our February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). We forecast increases in natural gas prices as demand for natural gas grows faster than supply in 2024.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 8, 2024

Nuclear reactor restarts in Japan have reduced LNG imports for electricity generation

Japan liquefied natural gas imports (2010&2023)
Data source: Japan Ministry of Finance, Trade Statistics
Note: Others represents Algeria, Angola, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Indonesia, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Yemen.

After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, Japan suspended operations at all of its remaining 48 nuclear power reactors by 2013 and relied almost exclusively on imported natural gas to replace the lost electricity generation. In 2015, Japan allowed its first nuclear power reactor to resume operations. As of December 2022, 11 gigawatts (GW) of Japan’s nuclear capacity have returned to service, which reduced liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports for electricity generation.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 7, 2024

LNG sale and purchase agreements signed in 2023 support U.S. LNG projects

prospective U.S. LNG projects that signed sale and purchase agreements
Data source: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and company press releases
Note: Prospective=approved, proposed, or under construction; Ph=phase; LNG=liquefied natural gas; Exp=expansion.

Developers advanced three liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects to the construction phase in 2023, following the signing of sale and purchase agreements (SPA)—contracts specifying the terms and conditions of LNG supplies between seller and buyer—underpinning the projects. Developers signed contracts with buyers for almost 22 million metric tons per year of LNG last year, or about 3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and from company websites. The volumes contracted in 2023 totaled 52% less than the contracted volumes in SPAs signed in 2022.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 6, 2024

U.S. natural gas consumption established a new daily record in January 2024

daily natural gas consumption in the U.S. lower 48 states
Data source: S&P Global Commodity Insights

On January 16, 2024, a record high of 141.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas was consumed in the U.S. Lower 48 states (L48), exceeding the previous record set on December 23, 2022, according to estimates from S&P Global Commodity Insights. Well-below-normal temperatures caused by a large mass of arctic air that covered most of the continental United States increased demand of natural gas used for residential and commercial space heating and for electric power generation. Both consumption of natural gas and withdrawals from underground storage increased to record volumes because of the higher demand.

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In-brief analysis
Feb 5, 2024

United Arab Emirates invests to meet 2027 crude oil production capacity goal

annual United Arab Emirates crude oil production
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook data browser for production data, Country Analysis Brief: United Arab Emirates for 2023 capacity, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the capacity target.
Note: Annual data for 2023 represent January through September, the most recent months available.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has invested heavily in increasing hydrocarbon production capacity and developing midstream and downstream infrastructure to accommodate future growth in hydrocarbon production. However, over the past 10 years, UAE actual production has averaged just less than 3 million barrels per day (b/d) because of production cut agreements between OPEC and non-OPEC participating countries (collectively known as OPEC+), according to our Country Analysis Brief: United Arab Emirates. The UAE national oil company, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has set a target to increase crude oil production capacity to 5 million b/d by 2027, moving up its earlier 2030 target by three years, according to the Middle East Economic Survey.

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In-depth analysis
Feb 1, 2024

Tracking electricity consumption from U.S. cryptocurrency mining operations

Summary

Electricity demand associated with U.S. cryptocurrency mining operations in the United States has grown very rapidly over the last several years. Our preliminary estimates suggest that annual electricity use from cryptocurrency mining probably represents from 0.6% to 2.3% of U.S. electricity consumption. 1

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In-depth analysis
Feb 1, 2024

Red Sea attacks increase shipping times and freight rates

map of red sea shipping
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration using calculations from Vortexa
Note: Voyage time is calculated for laden Suezmax tankers traveling at 14 knots without extended chokepoint delays.

After Yemen-based Houthi militia attacks on commercial ships transiting the Red Sea started in November 2023, some vessels began opting to avoid the Bab el-Mandeb chokepoint—a narrow strait that borders the Yemeni coast and is the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Instead, they’re choosing to take longer, more costly routes around the tip of Africa.

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