DOE to invest $20M in new oil and gas research projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will invest $20 million for cost-shared oil and gas research projects to increase recovery efficiency from unconventional oil and gas wells and to prevent offshore spills and leaks. The funding opportunity seeks projects that will advance DOE’s objective to support a more environmentally responsible, secure and resilient U.S. energy infrastructure while enhancing economic competitiveness and national security. Projects under this funding opportunity will support the Office of Fossil Energy’s efforts to ensure environmentally sustainable domestic and global supplies of oil and natural gas. Funded projects will cover three topic areas, two of which address unconventional oil and gas recovery and one that focuses on offshore oil and gas leak prevention.

US ethanol production capacity continues to climb

Total capacity of operable ethanol plants increased by more than 600 million gallons per year from January 2016 to January 2017, representing a 4 percent increase, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Fuel ethanol production capacity in the U.S. topped off at 15.5 billion gallons per year at the beginning of 2017, according to the EIA’s most recent U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report.

US refinery capacity increases

U.S. operable atmospheric crude distillation capacity on Jan. 1 was 1.6 percent higher than at the beginning of 2016, according to the EIA’s annual Refinery Capacity Report. This increase to 18.6 million barrels per calendar day in operable capacity was the second largest since the 2.9 percent increase from January 2012 to January 2013.

Fossil fuels continue to dominate US energy mix

For more than a century, fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas and coal) have provided 80 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. In 2016, these fuels made up 81 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, the lowest fossil fuel share in the past 100 years, according to the EIA.

US floating LNG facility to export to non-FTA countries

The Delfin LNG floating liquefaction project received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy for long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports of up to 1.8 billion cubic feet per day to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the U.S. Located off the coast of Louisiana, Delfin is the first floating liquefaction facility in U.S. waters to receive this export authorization, according to the EIA.

Sabal Trail Pipeline begins partial service to Florida

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized the partial operation of Phase 1 of the 515-mile greenfield, interstate Sabal Trail Pipeline on June 9, according to the EIA. The pipeline carries natural gas from an interconnection with the Transco pipeline in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, to the Central Florida Hub in Osceola County, Florida.

US crude oil and petroleum product exports rising

Total U.S. exports of crude oil and petroleum products including distillate, gasoline and propane more than doubled from 2.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2010 to 5.2 million b/d in 2016, but the growth rates and market drives for each of these products has varied during this period, the EIA reports.

Qatar plans to increase LNG production capacity

Qatar Petroleum intends to effectively end the moratorium on all new production projects that the company has had in place since 2005 by increasing natural gas production from its North Field by 20 percent over the next five to seven years, according to the EIA. The extra natural gas production will come from the production and export of liquid natural gas resulting in a 30 percent increase in liquefaction capacity.