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Annual Energy Outlook 2015

April 15, 2015 Comments off

Annual Energy Outlook 2015
Source: Energy Information Administration

Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) focus on the factors expected to shape U.S. energy markets through 2040. The projections provide a basis for examination and discussion of energy market trends and serve as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in U.S. energy policies, rules, and regulations, as well as the potential role of advanced technologies.

Natural Gas Infrastructure: Implications of Increased Demand from the Electric Power Sector

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Natural Gas Infrastructure: Implications of Increased Demand from the Electric Power Sector (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Energy

The natural gas sector in the United States has been fundamentally transformed by technological advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that have enabled the economic extraction of natural gas from shale formations. This breakthrough has, in turn, unlocked new, geographically diverse natural gas resources that are unprecedented in size.

The availability of abundant, low-cost natural gas has increased demand for natural gas from multiple end-use sectors. In the electric power sector, which is currently the largest consumer of natural gas in the United States, the record-low natural gas prices during the month of April 2012 drove generation from natural gas to virtually match that of coal. While coal has regained some of its market share because of gradually rising natural gas prices, the combination of favorable economics and the lower conventional air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with natural gas relative to other fossil fuels is likely to contribute to expanded use of natural gas in the electric power sector in the future.

However, increased use of natural gas in the electric power sector also presents some potential challenges. Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas cannot typically be stored on-site and must be delivered as it is consumed. Because adequate natural gas infrastructure is a key component of electric system reliability in many regions, it is important to understand the implications of greater natural gas demand for the infrastructure required to deliver natural gas to end users, including electric generators.

The purpose of this study is to understand the potential infrastructure needs of the U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline transmission system under several future natural gas demand scenarios.

Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Top 100 U.S. Oil and Gas Fields (PDF)
Source: Energy Information Administration

This supplement to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2013 ranks the 100 largest U.S. oil and gas fields by their estimated 2013 proved reserves.

Hat tip: INFOdocket

OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet — OPEC (excluding Iran) net oil export revenues

April 1, 2015 Comments off

OPEC (excluding Iran) net oil export revenues
Source: Energy Information Administration

For 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that, excluding Iran, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earned about $730 billion in net oil export revenues (unadjusted for inflation). This represents an 11% decline from the $824 billion earned in 2013, largely because of the decline in average annual crude oil prices, and to a lesser extent from decreases in the amount of OPEC net oil exports. This was the lowest earnings for the group since 2010.

Country Analysis Brief: Angola

March 23, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Angola
Source: Energy Information Administration

Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria. The country experienced an oil production boom between 2002 and 2008 as production started at several deepwater fields. In 2007, Angola became a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes

March 19, 2015 Comments off

Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes
Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Capturing the value that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems may add to home sales transactions is increasingly important. Our study enhances the PV-home-valuation literature by more than doubling the number of PV home sales analyzed (22,822 homes in total, 3,951 of which are PV) and examining transactions in eight states that span the years 2002–2013. We find that home buyers are consistently willing to pay PV home premiums across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types; average premiums across the full sample equate to approximately $4/W or $15,000 for an average-sized 3.6-kW PV system. Only a small and non-statistically significant difference exists between PV premiums for new and existing homes, though some evidence exists of new home PV system discounting. A PV green cachet might exist, i.e., home buyers might pay a certain amount for any size of PV system and some increment more depending on system size. The market appears to depreciate the value of PV systems in their first 10 years at a rate exceeding the rate of PV efficiency losses and the rate of straightline depreciation over the asset’s useful life. Net cost estimates—which account for government and utility PV incentives—may be the best proxy for market premiums, but income-based estimates may perform equally well if they accurately account for the complicated retail rate structures that exist in some states. Although this study focuses only on host-owned PV systems, future analysis should focus on homes with third-party-owned PV systems.

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador

March 19, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador
Source: Energy Information Administration

In Ecuador, the oil sector accounts for more than half of the country’s export earnings and approximately two-fifths of public sector revenues.1 Resource nationalism and debates about the economic, strategic, and environmental implications of oil sector development are prominent issues in the politics of Ecuador and the policies of its government. Ecuador is the smallest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and it produced 556,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of petroleum and other liquids in 2014, of which crude oil production was 555,000 bbl/d. A lack of sufficient domestic refining capacity to meet local demand has forced Ecuador to import refined products, limiting net oil revenue.

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