Energy

Natural gas has largest storage withdrawal on record

This winter's natural gas withdrawal season (generally considered to be from the beginning of November to the end of March) saw the largest storage withdrawal on record (since 1994-95). Historically, winter stock withdrawals average around 2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). FULL STORY »

Gasoline prices expected to average over $3.50

Retail prices are expected to gradually decline after May to an average of $3.46/gal in September. The largest driver of the expected decline is falling gasoline crack spreads, which are expected to decline to an average of 29 cents/gal in September. The expected decrease in crack spreads results from a projected increase in crude oil throughput at refineries, which add supplies to the market, along with easing seasonal demand increases as the summer progresses. North Sea Brent crude oil prices are projected to fall from a March average of $107 per barrel (bbl) to a May average of $105/bbl and a September average of $103/bbl. The May-to-September crude oil price drop contributes almost 5 cents/gal to the projected decline in gasoline prices. FULL STORY »

Natural Gas Weekly: Consumption sets winter record

Total natural gas consumption in the United States rose to a record average of 90.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) this winter, according to data from Bentek Energy. Cold weather drove total consumption up by 8% over last winter's levels, despite higher prices. FULL STORY »

Rapid rise in ethanol prices reflects logistical problems

Ethanol spot prices have increased steadily since early February. By late March, New York Harbor (NYH) spot ethanol prices exceeded prices for RBOB (the petroleum component of gasoline) by more than $1 per gallon (Figure 1). Ethanol spot prices in Chicago and Gulf Coast markets also rose above NYH RBOB prices. FULL STORY »

Natural Gas Weekly: Price volatility falls to prewinter levels

Natural gas markets entered January 2014 with low storage levels, following heavy withdrawals at the end of 2013. In January 2014, Lower 48 working inventories fell to a 10-year low, as freezing temperatures led to record natural gas demand and storage withdrawals. FULL STORY »

This week in petroleum: Spring break rush on Gulf Coast

Gasoline consumption in Florida typically peaks in March, when seasonal population is high and spring break travelers and baseball fans arrive for some time in the sun. Through the rest of the spring and into the summer, gasoline consumption typically declines as tourism slows and seasonal residents head north to escape the heat. This consumption pattern differs from that of in other states, where gasoline consumption typically peaks in July and August and is lowest during the winter months. FULL STORY »

Cold weather led to increased demand for natural gas

Cold weather this winter in the United States led to increased demand for natural gas from the electric power sector, as more natural gas-fired generation was needed to heat homes and businesses. FULL STORY »

Gasoline price increases, diesel fuel sheds two cents

The average U.S. price for regular gasoline was $3.55 per gallon as of March 17, 2014, an increase of four cents from a week ago, but 15 cents less than a year ago. FULL STORY »

Crude oil inventories at lowest level since 2012

Crude oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the primary crude oil storage location in the United States and the delivery location for the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures contract, declined 12 million barrels (29%) over the past seven weeks. On March 14, 2014, Cushing inventories were 30 million barrels, 19 million barrels lower than a year ago and the lowest level since early 2012. FULL STORY »

Natural Gas Weekly Update: March 13, 2014

Most recently, prices rose to the $8/MMBtu range in early March when cold weather in Eastern markets contributed to lower supply in California. FULL STORY »

Natural Gas Outlook: Consumption down, Production to grow

More frigid weather in February led to another large downward revision to the STEO's end-of-March 2014 projection for working natural gas inventories. Projected inventories now end March at 965 billion cubic feet (Bcf), ending the season below 1,000 Bcf for the first time since 2003. Much colder-than-normal temperatures in February led to large stock withdrawals in response to high demand from the residential, commercial, and electric power sectors. According to data from Bentek Energy, three of the top five months for total natural gas demand over the last eight years have occurred this heating season (December 2013, January 2014, and February 2014). FULL STORY »

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