REGULARLY SCHEDULED WEEKLY RELEASES:
Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update
Presents average weekly retail on-highway diesel fuel prices for the U.S., 8 regions, and the State of California and average weekly retail gasoline prices at the national and regional levels, and for selected cities and States.
This Week in Petroleum
Provides analysis, data, and charts of the latest weekly petroleum supply and price data.
Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
Contains weekly estimates of natural gas in underground storage for the United States and three regions of the United States.
Natural Gas Weekly Update
Contains weekly updates of natural gas market prices, latest storage level estimates, recent lower 48 NOAA weather data, and other market activity or events.
OTHER RELEASES THIS WEEK:
Global natural gas consumption doubled from 1980 to 2010
Between 1980 and 2010, global consumption of dry natural gas rose from 53 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 113 Tcf. Although consumption in North America saw the slowest regional growth in percentage terms (29%), the region accounted for more than 25% of global natural gas consumption during all years in the period. Unlike petroleum, trends in regional natural gas consumption and production are more similar because of the limited role played by inter-continental movements of natural gas, at least until recently.
State-level retail gasoline taxes vary significantly
While crude oil prices, refining costs, and distribution and marketing expenses account for a significant portion of the final retail price of gasoline, taxes also explain an appreciable portion of that price. State-level taxes on motor fuels vary widely, ranging from less than 10 cents per gallon to a high of over 43 cents per gallon. Many states also allow localities and other specified districts to levy additional sales taxes and other charges that may add up to 19 cents per gallon over and above the state-level taxes.
U.S. imports of Nigerian crude oil have continued to decline in 2012
The trend of declining crude oil imports into the United States continued in the first month of 2012. There has been a particularly sharp decline in imports from Nigeria due to the idling in late 2011 of two refineries on the East Coast, which were significant buyers of Nigerian crude, and reduced imports by refiners on the Gulf Coast. Prior to the idling of the refineries, Nigeria typically accounted for about 10% of the crude oil imported into the United States; in January, that share dropped to about 5%.
Short-Term Energy Outlook
EIA has lowered the forecast 2012 average U.S. refiner acquisition cost of crude oil by $2 per barrel from last month’s Outlook to $112 per barrel, still $10 per barrel higher than last year’s average price. EIA expects the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to average about $106 per barrel in 2012, the same as in last month’s Outlook but $11 per barrel higher than the average price last year.
Short-Term Energy Outlook - Market Prices and Uncertainty Report
Prices: After moving higher in the first two months of this year, crude oil prices have traded in a narrow range during the month of March. Front month futures prices for Brent and WTI settled at $123.43 and $103.31 per barrel, respectively, on April 5 (Figure 1). These prices are at the lower end of the $4 and $6 per barrel trading ranges observed for these two benchmarks over the last month. The average price for Brent in March was $124.46 per barrel, the highest since July 2008.
Shares of electricity generation from renewable energy sources up in many states
Non-hydroelectric renewable generation has increased in many states over the past decade. In 2011, Maine had the highest percentage of non-hydroelectric renewable generation, at 27% of total in-state generation, up from 20% in 2001. When hydroelectric generation is included, the state with the largest renewable share of 2011 generation was Idaho (93%).
Regional differences for cost of crude oil to refiners widened in 2011
The cost of crude oil to refiners varies across regions based on the different types of crude oil available to refiners and transportation bottlenecks in a given region. This cost, called the refiner acquisition cost, includes transportation and other fees paid by the refiner. Historically, there has been little variation across regions. From 2004 through 2009, the average of the annual spread between the most expensive and least expensive regional refiner acquisition cost was $5.52 per barrel. In 2010, the spread was $7.46 per barrel, and in 2011, it widened dramatically to $23.78 per barrel.
Spot crude prices near 12-month high; natural gas and power prices near 12-month low
Key wholesale energy price benchmarks for crude oil, natural gas, and electric power reflect contrasting trends over the past year. International events have contributed to higher wholesale crude oil prices, whereas high levels of domestic natural gas production coupled with mild weather and record storage inventories have lowered wholesale natural gas prices. Because natural gas remains the marginal fuel in most electric power markets and because low heating and cooling demand in recent weeks have reduced electricity demand, electric power prices remain low as well. The figures above compare recent weekly price ranges (for March 29, 2012 - April 4, 2012) to the range of wholesale prices during the past year.
Wholesale Market Data
Spreadsheets contain peak prices, volumes, and the number of transactions at ten electricity trading hubs covering most regions of the United States. Data from ICE (IntercontinentalExchange) through March 30, 2012.