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Country Analysis Brief: Yemen

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Yemen
Source: Energy Information Administration

Yemen’s energy sector is in a state of flux. Declining oil production and frequent attacks on Yemen’s energy infrastructure have offset positive developments in the country’s natural gas sector since 2009. Yemen’s difficult security environment complicates the exploration, production, and transport of energy resources in the country, and could undermine the country’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) export sector.

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Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook
Source: Energy Information Administration

EIA projects average U.S. household expenditures for natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and propane will decrease this winter heating season (October 1 through March 31) compared with last winter, which was 11% colder than the previous 10-year average nationally. Projected average household expenditures for propane and heating oil are 27% and 15% lower, respectively, because of lower heating demand and prices. Lower heating demand and higher prices contribute to natural gas and electricity expenditures that are 5% and 2% lower than last winter (see EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook and Winter Fuels Outlook slideshow).

Driven in large part by falling crude oil prices, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices fell to an average of $3.41/gallon (gal) in September, 29 cents below the June average. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are projected to continue to decline to an average of $3.14/gal in December. EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.51/gal in 2013, to average $3.45/gal in 2014 and $3.38/gal in 2015.

Department of Energy’s National Labs Can Also Be Regional Hubs

October 6, 2014 Comments off

Department of Energy’s National Labs Can Also Be Regional Hubs
Source: Brookings Institution

The Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories are a $12.5 billion network of potentially transformative basic and applied R&D hubs located in or near many of the nation’s metropolitan areas. However, the labs are today underutilized as true economic assets.

How can they be better leveraged?

There are lots of ideas out there, but as we argue in a new paper, one of the most effective ways for the labs to increase their economic impact is for them to “go local” and engage more in the advanced industry ecosystems within which they reside.

Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest holder of crude oil proved reserves and was the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in 2013. In 2013, Saudi Arabia was the world’s second-largest petroleum liquids producer behind the United States and was the world’s second-largest crude oil producer behind Russia. Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily dependent on petroleum. Petroleum exports accounted for 85% of total Saudi export revenues in 2013, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s Annual Statistical Bulletin 2014.

With the largest oil projects nearing completion, Saudi Arabia is expanding its natural gas, refining, petrochemicals, and electric power industries. Saudi Arabia’s oil and natural gas operations are dominated by Saudi Aramco, the national oil and gas company and the world’s largest oil company in terms of production. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals have oversight of the oil and natural gas sector and Saudi Aramco.

Country Analysis Brief: East China Sea

September 18, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: East China Sea
Source: Energy Information Administration

The East China Sea is a semi-closed sea bordered by the Yellow Sea to the north, the South China Sea and Taiwan to the south, Japan’s Ryukyu and Kyushu islands to the east, and the Chinese mainland to the west. Studies identifying potentially abundant oil and natural gas deposits have made the sea a source of contention between Japan and China, the two largest energy consumers in Asia.

The East China Sea has a total area of approximately 482,000 square miles, consisting mostly of the continental shelf and the Okinawa Trough, a back-arc basin formed about 300 miles southeast of Shanghai between China and Japan. The disputed eight Senkaku islands are to the northeast of Taiwan. The largest of the islands is two miles long and less than a mile wide.

Though barren, the islands are important for strategic and political reasons, as sovereignty over land is the basis for claims to the surrounding sea and its resources under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. China and Japan both claim sovereignty over the islands, which are under Japanese administration, preventing wide-scale exploration and development of oil and natural gas in the East China Sea.

Country Analysis Brief: Australia

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Australia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Australia is rich in commodities, including fossil fuel and uranium reserves. It is one of the few countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that is a significant net energy exporter, sending nearly 70% of its total energy production (excluding energy imports) overseas, according to data from Australia’s Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE).

Except for crude oil and other liquids, Australia retains a surplus of all other energy commodities. Australia was the world’s second-largest coal exporter based on weight in 2012 and the third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2013. Energy exports accounted for 24% of Australia’s total export revenues in 2012, according to BREE. The country holds the world’s largest recoverable reserves of uranium (about 32%, based on 2012 data) and is the third-largest producer and exporter of uranium for nuclear-powered electricity, according to the World Nuclear Association. Australia is a net importer of crude oil and refined petroleum products, although the country exports some petroleum liquids.

CRS — Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief (August 19, 2014)

September 15, 2014 Comments off

Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Coal represents a major energy resource for the United States. Coal-fired power plants provided approximately 37% of U.S. generated electricity (about 1.5 billion megawatt-hours) in 2012, while consuming over 800 million tons of coal. Power plants that use coal are also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, contributing approximately 28% of total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012.

As part of federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, loan guarantees and tax incentives have been made available to support private sector investment in “clean coal.” Both loan guarantees and tax incentives were included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. 109-58). Mitigating CO2 emissions has also become the primary focus of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efforts within the clean coal research and development program (now Coal R&D) within its Office of Fossil Energy. At issue for Congress is the extent to which the private sector has used the financial incentive tools available, and whether they are the right tools for promoting the development of technology to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants.

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