Today in Energy

Aug 23, 2017

Northwest heat wave leads to record levels of summer electricity demand

graph of temperatures and electricity demand in Portland and Seattle, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental Information

Multiple record-breaking heat waves swept across the western United States this summer, with the latest occurring in the Pacific Northwest from August 1–4, 2017. Coincident with the hot weather, some of the largest electricity balancing authorities in the area experienced record-high summer electricity demand on their systems.

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Aug 22, 2017

Mexico’s shale-rich Burgos Basin opens to private investment for the first time

graph of Mexico natural gas production and PEMEX capital investment, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Petróleos Mexicanos and Natural Gas Intelligence

In July 2017, Mexico’s national energy ministry (SENER) opened the onshore portion of the Burgos Basin, a shale-rich basin in northeastern Mexico, for natural gas exploration and development by private companies. This is the first time non-state entities were offered access to the Burgos Basin for development since the creation of the national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) in 1938. SENER hopes that private investment will help to reverse the decline in natural gas production and offset decreasing PEMEX investment in the region.

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Aug 21, 2017

Natural gas-fired electricity conversion efficiency grows as coal remains stable

graph of operating heat rates of coal- and natural gas-fired electricity generation, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, Power Plant Operations Report

From 2006 to 2015, annual average heat rates of natural gas-fired electricity generators decreased 7% as heat rates of coal-fired electricity generators remained stable, increasing only 1%. Heat rates are calculated based on the amount of energy (measured in British thermal units) reported to EIA that was used to generate a unit of electricity. Lower heat rates indicate more efficient generation, because less fuel is needed per kilowatthour.

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Aug 18, 2017

The Danish and Turkish Straits are critical to Europe’s crude oil and petroleum trade

graph of volume of crude oil and petroleum products transported through selected chokepoints, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017 World Oil Transit Chokepoints
Note: Includes crude oil and petroleum liquids.

The Danish Straits and Turkish Straits, together transited by a combined volume of more than 5 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, are important chokepoints for Europe’s crude oil and petroleum liquids supply. Nearly 59 million b/d of global petroleum and other liquids production moved on maritime routes in 2015. Although most discussions of maritime chokepoints for oil trade focus on the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca, which together were transited by a combined volume of more than 30 million b/d, other chokepoints are significant for specific regions.

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Aug 17, 2017

U.S. gasoline production is running near record levels

graph of U.S. refiner and blender net production of finished motor gasoline, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report
Note: Net production of motor gasoline reflects finished motor gasoline minus fuel ethanol.

Gasoline production by U.S. refiners and blenders has run near record levels over the first seven months of 2017, with four-week rolling average production well above its five-year average and close to the top of its five-year range. U.S. gasoline inventories also remain relatively high despite growing domestic and foreign demand.

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Aug 16, 2017

Natural gas pipeline projects lead to smaller price discounts in Appalachian region

graph of daily natural gas spot prices at selected hubs, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Natural Gas Intelligence

As new pipeline projects and expansions are completed, the difference between the Henry Hub national benchmark price and daily spot natural gas prices at pricing hubs in the Appalachian region has narrowed. Through the first seven months of 2017, the difference between prices at the Henry Hub in Louisiana and at Dominion South in southwestern Pennsylvania averaged $0.53 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), about two-thirds the average difference of $0.76/MMBtu during the first seven months of 2016. The differences between the Henry Hub and other Appalachian region price points followed similar trends.

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Aug 15, 2017

EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report adds Anadarko region, aggregates Marcellus and Utica

map of regions in EIA's Drilling Productivity Report, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Drilling Productivity Report, August 2017

To provide more complete coverage of U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, EIA is expanding the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) to cover the Anadarko region, which covers most of the production from the Anadarko Basin in 24 counties in Oklahoma and 5 counties in Texas. Two other regions—the Marcellus and the Utica—have been combined into one Appalachia region.

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Aug 14, 2017

South Carolina utilities stop construction of new nuclear reactors

map of existing and planned nuclear power plants in South Carolina, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electricity Generator Inventory

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, and South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper) announced on July 31 that they are halting construction of two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant. The reasons cited for this decision include rising costs, decreasing electricity demand, construction delays, and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, the lead contractor for the project and the designer of the reactor. The project to build two additional reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant had begun in 2009, and the reactors were scheduled to come online in 2019 and 2020.

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Aug 11, 2017

The Strait of Malacca, a key oil trade chokepoint, links the Indian and Pacific Oceans

crude oil and petroleum products transported through the Strait of Malacca, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017 World Oil Transit Chokepoints
Note: Includes crude oil and petroleum liquids.

Nearly one-third of the 61% of total global petroleum and other liquids production that moved on maritime routes in 2015 transited the Strait of Malacca, the second-largest oil trade chokepoint in the world after the Strait of Hormuz. Petroleum and other liquids transiting the Strait of Malacca increased for the fourth time in the past five years in 2016, reaching 16 million barrels per day (b/d).

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Aug 10, 2017

Total U.S. energy expenditures in 2015 were the lowest in more than a decade

graph of total end-use energy expenditures, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System

Expenditures for delivered energy in the United States in 2015 totaled $1.127 trillion, a 20% decrease in real terms from 2014, according to recently released data from EIA’s State Energy Data System. Adjusted for inflation, total energy expenditures in 2015 were the lowest since 2004. Total energy expenditures, expressed as a percent of the United States gross domestic product, were 6.2% in 2015, the lowest since 2002.

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