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Country Analysis Brief: Kuwait

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Kuwait
Source: Energy Information Administration

As a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Kuwait was the world’s 10th largest petroleum and other liquids producer in 2013. Despite being the second smallest in land area among the OPEC member countries, Kuwait exports the fifth-largest volume of crude oil and condensates following Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and Nigeria.

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World Oil Transit Chokepoints

November 14, 2014 Comments off

World Oil Transit Chokepoints
Source: Energy Information Administration

World chokepoints for maritime transit of oil are a critical part of global energy security. About 63% of the world’s oil production moves on maritime routes. The Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca are the world’s most important strategic chokepoints by volume of oil transit.

Short-Term Energy Outlook (Release Date: November 12, 2014)

November 12, 2014 Comments off

Short-Term Energy Outlook
Source: Energy Information Administration

Highlights

North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices fell from $95/barrel (bbl) on October 1 to $84/bbl at the end of the month. The causes included weakening outlooks for global economic and oil demand growth, the return to the market of previously disrupted Libyan crude oil production, and continued growth in U.S. tight oil production. Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $87/bbl in October, the first month Brent prices have averaged below $90/bbl since November 2010. EIA projects that Brent crude oil prices will average $83/bbl in 2015, $18/bbl lower than forecast in last month’s STEO. There is significant uncertainty over the crude oil price forecast because of the range of potential supply responses from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), particularly Saudi Arabia, and U.S. tight oil producers to the new lower oil price environment.

Driven largely by falling crude oil prices, U.S. weekly regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.99/gallon (gal) on November 3, the lowest level since December 20, 2010. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are projected to continue to decline for the remainder of the year to an average of $2.80/gal in December, $0.33/gal lower than in last month’s STEO. EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.51/gal in 2013, to average $3.39/gal in 2014 and $2.94/gal in 2015
Total U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.9 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in October, and monthly average production is forecast to surpass 9.0 million bbl/d in December 2014. Projected total crude oil production averages 9.4 million bbl/d in 2015, a reduction of 0.1 million bbl/d from last month’s STEO. If realized, the 2015 forecast would be the highest annual average crude oil production since 1972. Natural gas plant liquids production is expected to increase from an average of 2.6 million bbl/d in 2013 to 3.2 million bbl/d in 2015.

Natural gas working inventories on October 31 totaled 3.57 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 0.24 Tcf (6%) below the level at the same time a year ago and 0.26 Tcf (7%) below the previous five-year average (2009-13). Despite the lower stocks at the start of this winter’s heating season, EIA expects the Henry Hub natural gas spot price to average $3.97/million British thermal units (MMBtu) this winter compared with $4.53/MMBtu last winter. This price forecast reflects both lower expected heating demand and significantly higher natural gas production this winter.

EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers

November 10, 2014 Comments off

EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs.

In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number of fuel efficient and low-emission vehicles in a broader variety of classes and sizes.

What Drives U.S. Gasoline Prices?

November 6, 2014 Comments off

What Drives U.S. Gasoline Prices?
Source: Energy Information Administration

U.S. oil production has grown rapidly in recent years. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, which reflect combined production of crude oil and lease condensate, show a rise from 5.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2011 to 7.4 million bbl/d in 2013. EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects continuing rapid production growth in 2014 and 2015, with forecast production in 2015 averaging 9.5 million bbl/d. While EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) projects further production growth, its pace and duration remain uncertain, as shown by the significant differences between Reference case and High Oil and Gas Resource case projections, which differ in both the timing and level of the highest volume of U.S. crude oil production. EIA’s next update to the AEO will raise projected production significantly in the Reference case.

Recent and forecast increases in domestic crude production have sparked discussion on the topic of how rising crude oil volumes will be absorbed. Given the likelihood of continued growth in domestic crude production, and the recognition that some absorption options, such as like-for-like replacement of import streams, are inherently limited, the question of how a relaxation in current limitations on crude exports might affect domestic and international markets for both crude and products continues to hold great interest for policymakers, industry, and the public. In response to multiple requests, EIA is developing analyses that shed light on this question.

Country Analysis Brief — Canada

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief — Canada
Source: Energy Information Administration

Canada is a net exporter of most energy commodities and is an especially significant producer of conventional and unconventional oil, natural gas, and hydroelectricity. It stands out as the largest foreign supplier of energy to the United States, its southern neighbor and one of the world’s largest consumers of energy. Just as the United States depends on Canada for much of its energy needs, so is Canada profoundly dependent on the United States as an export market. However, economic and political considerations are leading Canada to consider ways to diversify its trading partners, especially by expanding ties with emerging markets in Asia.

Weather-driven energy intensity increase led to higher energy-related emissions in 2013

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Weather-driven energy intensity increase led to higher energy-related emissions in 2013
Source: Energy Information Administration

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased in 2013 by 129 million metric tons (2.5%), the largest increase since 2010 and the fourth-largest increase since 1990. Emissions trends reflect a combination of economic factors (population multiplied by per capita output [GDP/population]), energy intensity (energy use per dollar of GDP), and carbon intensity (carbon emissions per unit of energy consumed).

In the decade prior to 2013, energy intensity decreased on average by 2.0% per year; given that it increased by 0.5% in 2013, this meant there was a 2.5% swing compared to trend. Energy intensity changes can reflect weather variations that directly affect energy use for heating and cooling as well as changes in the composition of economic activity. Heating degree days, a measure of heating requirements, increased about 19% between 2012 and 2013. As compared to the 2003-12 trend, the increase in energy intensity added about 134 million metric tons.

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