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Today in Energy

Nov 25, 2020

Pre-Thanksgiving gasoline prices at lowest level since 2015

weekly U.S. average regular gasoline retail price
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

The average U.S. regular retail gasoline price (the price that consumers pay at the pump) during the week before Thanksgiving this year was $2.10 per gallon (gal), the lowest average retail gasoline price for the Monday before Thanksgiving since 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update.

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Nov 24, 2020

EIA updates geological maps of Midland Basin’s Wolfcamp formation

Wolfcamp maps
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Shale Oil and Natural Gas Maps, Permian Basin
Note: Click to see full-size images, starting from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released new structure and thickness maps for the Wolfcamp play in the Midland Basin, which is a part of the larger Permian Basin in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The Wolfcamp formation has attracted many oil companies because of its stacked potential (that is, multiple hydrocarbon-producing zones on top of one another).

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Nov 23, 2020

New York generated the fourth most electricity from renewable sources of any state in 2019

top 10 renewable electricity generating states by source
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

In 2019, more electricity was generated from renewable sources in New York than in all but three states, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Electric Power Monthly. New York’s 39.4 million megawatthours (MWh) of renewable electricity generation was more than any other state east of the Mississippi River and accounted for 30% of the state’s total electricity generation in 2019.

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Nov 20, 2020

Off-grid solar generation could affect how Africa uses coal, natural gas for electricity

electricity generation in Africa by selected case
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2020

In the International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects electricity generation in Africa using two cases with different assumptions about how future electricity needs are fulfilled. In the Maximum Grid Expansion case, in which a centralized grid is developed to meet electricity demand throughout the continent, EIA projects that solar photovoltaic generators will meet 13% of Africa’s electricity generation in 2050. In this case, EIA’s projections do not include off-grid, stand-alone generators. In contrast, in the Maximum Off-Grid case, where demand growth in the southern half of the continent (Africa-South) is met by off-grid resources, solar energy—from both grid-connected and off-grid systems—will provide 21% of continent-wide electricity generation in 2050.

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Nov 19, 2020

About 25% of U.S. power plants can start up within an hour

U.S. electric generating capacity by minimum time from cold shut down to full load
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Inventory

About 25% of U.S. power plants can start up—going from being shut down to fully operating—within one hour, based on data collected in EIA’s annual survey of electric generators. Some power plants, especially those powered by coal and nuclear fuel, require more than half a day to reach full operations. The time it takes a power plant to reach full operations can affect the reliability and operations of the electric grid.

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Nov 18, 2020

The Gulf of Mexico saw its largest decrease in crude oil production since 2008 in August

Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico monthly crude oil production
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

In August 2020, the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM) saw its largest monthly decrease in production of crude oil since September 2008, dropping by 453,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 27%. Production of crude oil in the GOM totaled 1.2 million b/d in August 2020, which is its lowest production rate in nearly seven years. The regional drop in production resulted from the path of both Hurricanes Laura and Marco in late August.

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Nov 17, 2020

EIA expects U.S. crude oil production to remain relatively flat through 2021

U.S. monthly crude oil production
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), November 2020

In the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) November Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will remain near its current level through the end of 2021.

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Nov 16, 2020

Natural gas inventories end the injection season near the record high

weekly natural gas inventory level
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Monthly and Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
Note: Data for October 31, 2020, represent an interpolated value based on the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report.

The amount of working natural gas in storage in the United States ended the natural gas injection, or refill, season (April 1–October 31) at 3,920 billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to interpolated data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report released on November 13. The amount of natural gas held in underground storage in the Lower 48 states is now near the record-high value, 4,047 Bcf, reached in mid-November 2016.

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Nov 13, 2020

Interregional electricity trade in India affects shares of solar and coal-fired generation

shares of India's electricity generation
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2020

With more than 1.3 billion people, India is the second-most populous country in the world and has the third-highest energy consumption level after China and the United States. To help meet the country’s energy needs, India is expanding its electric transmission infrastructure to improve electricity movement between regions of the country. In the International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) considers how interregional electricity grid connections could influence India’s future electricity generating fuel choices. EIA’s modeling shows that greater levels of grid connectivity and electricity trade between regions result in more electricity generation from solar and less from coal.

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Nov 12, 2020

2020 could be a record year for U.S. wind turbine installations

annual U.S. operating and planned wind turbine capacity additions
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

According to data collected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), project developers expect more than 23 gigawatts (GW) of wind turbine generating capacity to come online in the United States in 2020, far more than the previous record of 13.2 GW added in 2012. Only 5.0 GW of capacity has come online in the first eight months of this year, according to EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, but as is typical with wind turbine installations, most of the annual capacity additions come online in the final months of the year. Another 18.5 GW plan to come online in September through December, according to project timelines reported to EIA by power plant owners and developers.

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