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By Robert Rapier on Jul 24, 2014 with 3 responses

The US and Russia are Gas Giants

Introduction

This is the 2nd installment in a series that examines data from the recently released Statistical Review of World Energy 2014. The previous post – World Sets New Oil Production and Consumption Records – delved into world oil production and consumption figures. Today’s post looks at the global natural gas picture.

In 2013 global natural gas production advanced 1.1% to a new all-time high of 328 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd). Except for a one-year decline in 2008-2009, global gas production has risen fairly steadily for about three decades, and production has more than doubled during that time span:

Global Gas Production 1970 through 2013

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By Elias Hinckley on Jul 14, 2014 with 9 responses

The Greatest Growth Opportunity for Electric Companies: Devour Oil’s Market

Energy use in the US can be split into two large (very, very large) pies. One is electricity for use in homes, buildings, and industry and the other is transportation, which is powered primarily by liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel) from oil. There are some exceptions, and small overlapping fuel uses – direct industrial use of liquid fuel (a fairly significant quantity), some liquids burned to make electricity (this used to be a significant amount, but is now only a very small amount), and now a very small amount of electricity used to power electric vehicles (“EVs”).

American consumers spend, on average more than $1 billion every day on each of these energy uses.

Daily U.S. Consumer Energy Spending

pies 1

Electric utilities have never made a serious effort to attack the transportation market at scale.  Historically this made sense.  Transportation infrastructure was built around liquid fuels and virtually the entire fleet of U.S. cars and trucks run on liquid fuels and there was no viable electric-drive alternative and fueling infrastructure was non-existent.

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By Robert Rapier on Jul 10, 2014 with 15 responses

World Sets New Oil Production and Consumption Records

Last month BP (NYSE: BP) released the Statistical Review of World Energy 2014. This report is one of the most comprehensive sources of global and country level statistics on production and consumption of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power and renewables. Right after the release of the report, I wrote a short post discussing the highlights. Today I will take a deeper dive into oil production and consumption figures. In coming weeks, I will delve into the rest of the report.

Oil Production

First a note about BP’s definitions. “Oil” in the BP Statistical Review (BPSR) is defined as ”crude oil, tight oil, oil sands and natural gas liquids”, but excludes biofuels and liquid fuels produced from coal or natural gas. Consumption numbers do include all liquid fuels, so consumption numbers are always greater than production numbers, but this is merely an artifact of BP’s definitions.

Global oil production advanced in 2013 by 557,000 barrels per day (bpd), reaching a new all-time high of 86.8 million bpd (an increase of 0.6 percent over 2012). After declining in 2009, global crude oil production has now increased 4 years in a row. But as I noted in last month’s short article, while global oil production did indeed set a new record, the US production increase alone was 1.1 million bpd. Thus, outside the US global production actually declined by 554,000 bpd. CONTINUE»

By Russ Finley on Jul 3, 2014 with 5 responses

Nissan Leaf Replacement Battery for $5,500

LeafWithBattery

Provision of an after-market battery pack is another electric car first and an all important step for electric cars to gain greater market share. Leaf owners now have the option to upgrade to a new battery (with new, more heat resistant chemistry) when the old one wears out, or of selling their car and letting someone else put a new battery in it. An electric car with a worn out battery wouldn’t have much resale value if you couldn’t replace the battery. The existence of a reasonably priced battery replacement might stimulate sales by putting at ease any prospective customers concerned about how they would sell their electric car once its battery wore out.

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By Geoffrey Styles on Jun 25, 2014 with 1 response

Condensate Pries Open the Oil Export Lid

US Administration OKs Exports without Requiring Congressional Approval

I see that the US Commerce Department has given two US companies permission to export condensate that would otherwise be trapped here under a 1970s-vintage ban on US oil exports. This validates the view, as described in a white paper from the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) earlier this year, that the administration has the statutory authority necessary to allow such exports.

After decades of investment to process the increasingly heavy and sour crude oil types available for import, most US refineries, particularly on the Gulf and west coasts, are no longer equipped to run large volumes of the extremely light condensates and oils now coming from onshore shale deposits. Allowing producers to achieve world-market prices for their output should boost the economy and raise tax receipts, yet is unlikely to harm consumers.

Condensate Exports Won’t Reduce US Gasoline Production

Condensates are a class of hydrocarbons distinct from crude oil, but they share enough oil-like characteristics frequently to be lumped in with the latter, as in US export regulations. The technical definition of condensates encompasses both the “natural gasoline” extracted during the processing of natural gas produced from oil fields (“associated gas”,) as well as the heaviest liquids separated from “non-associated” gas, i.e. from gas fields, rather than oil fields. CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 23, 2014 with 5 responses

Where The US Got Its Oil in 2013

How Much Oil Do We Import?

As events in Iraq continue to unfold, we have been getting quite a few queries on just how much oil the US imports from Iraq. In my previous post – The Top 10 Oil Producers in 2013 — I showed that even though the US is a major oil producer, we are an even greater oil consumer. So we import millions of barrels a day of oil from over 40 countries — one of which is in fact Iraq.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) tracks US oil imports and finished product exports, and I have tabulated our Top 10 sources of crude oil imports from 2013. Overall, the US imported 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in 2013, a 2 million bpd decline since 2008. We imported another 2.1 million bpd of finished products like diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel, but we also exported 3.6 million bpd of petroleum and petroleum products (mostly as finished products).

Where Does Our Imported Oil Come From?

Of the 7.7 million bpd of crude oil imports, 3.5 million bpd (45 percent of the total) came from OPEC countries. Saudi Arabia was our largest OPEC supplier at 1.3 million bpd (17 percent of the crude import total). But our biggest supplier of crude continues to be Canada. The 2.6 million bpd of crude we got from Canada in 2013 represents a 66 percent increase in the past 10 years and made up a third of US crude oil imports in 2013.

US Crude Imports in 2013

Top 10 Sources of US Crude Oil Imports in 2013 (million barrels per day).  CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 20, 2014 with 10 responses

The Top 10 Oil Producers in 2013

This week BP (NYSE: BP) released their Statistical Review of World Energy 2014. I have been diving into the report, and as always will write a series of articles based on the latest results. Today I want to provide an update of the world’s Top 10 oil producers for 2013 based on the BP report.

Top 10 Oil Producers in 2013
Top 10 Oil Producers in 2013. Figures are “million barrels per day.” 

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By Robert Rapier on Jun 17, 2014 with 10 responses

The Oil Markets as a Thanksgiving Turkey

This week BP (NYSE: BP) released their Statistical Review of World Energy 2014. This is always a big event for energy wonks, and as always I will break it down in a series of articles. My goal is always to flesh out important tidbits that were perhaps overlooked by the media. Here are some of the major findings from this year’s release that have been reported. In 2013:

  • US oil production had the largest increase in the country’s history
  • US oil demand grew at a faster pace last year than China’s, although China’s overall energy demand grew faster
  • Asia increased solar output last year more than Europe for the first time ever
  • Emerging economies accounted for 80% of energy consumption growth
  • Global oil production rose to a new all-time high

In one of those overlooked tidbits I like to point out, while global oil production did indeed set a new record — rising in 2013 by 557,000 barrels per day (bpd) over 2012 — without the US increase of 1.1 million bpd, global production would have declined by 554,000 bpd. But I will take a deeper dive into that starting next week. Today I want to talk about Iraq.

Or, more precisely the impact the unfolding events in Iraq have had on the global oil markets, and more specifically how those oil markets actually work. I had an interesting discussion with someone last week, after a remark was made about oil companies using any excuse — like potential supply disruptions in Iraq — to immediately jack up oil prices. CONTINUE»

By Geoffrey Styles on Jun 12, 2014 with 10 responses

Does EPA’s CO2 Rule Open A Back Door to Cap & Trade?

EPA’s Proposed “Clean Power Plan” Would Require 50 State Plans

Last week the US Environmental Protection Agency released for comment its proposal for regulating the CO2 emissions from existing power plants. It follows EPA’s emissions rule for new power plants published late last year but takes a different, more expansive approach.  If implemented, the “Clean Power Plan” would reduce US emissions in the utility sector by around 25% by 2020 and 30% by 2030.

One of its most surprising features is that instead of setting emissions standards for each type of power plant or mandating a single, across-the-board emissions-reduction percentage, it imposes distinct emissions targets on each state. Based on analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, some states could actually increase emissions, while others are required to make deep cuts. The resulting disparities have apparently triggered new interest in state and regional emissions trading as a means of managing the rule’s cost.

Trading Emissions Is Hardly A New Idea

Although emissions trading has become more controversial in recent years, it proved its worth in holding down the cost of implementing previous environmental regulations, such as the effort to reduce sulfur pollution associated with acid rain. It works by enabling facilities or companies with lower-than-average abatement costs to profit from maximizing their reductions and then selling their excess reductions to others with higher costs. The desired overall reductions are thus achieved at a lower cost to the economy than if each company or facility were required to reduce its emissions by the same amount. CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 9, 2014 with 108 responses

When the Wind Doesn’t Blow

Hawi Wind Farm

Every morning after I wake up, I have a routine. The first thing I do, regardless of how sleepy I might still be, is slip on my shoes and run a mile. This erases the fog of sleep and gets me ready for the day. As an aside, I can highly recommend a quick run in the morning for just about everyone. The time commitment is minimal, it’s good for the heart, helps with stress, and it kicks the brain into high gear much faster than a cup of coffee can (which I still have later in the morning).

When I am traveling, I will often use a hotel treadmill, and catch up on the news for a few minutes as I run. But when I am in Hawaii, I run outdoors in all but the worst weather. The town I live in — near the north end of the Big Island — is known for the wind. In fact, the school mascot where my children have attended school for the past five years is “Ka Makani”, which means “the wind” in Hawaiian. There is a 10.6 megawatt (MW) wind farm — Hawi Renewable Development Wind Farm  (shown in the picture above) — 20 miles north of where I live.

While the wind there blows enough to support a wind farm, and more often than not I have to run against it during some part of my run, on some mornings everything is dead still. On those mornings, I know I can look to the west and see black smoke rising into the sky. CONTINUE»