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Last updateThu, 19 Oct 2017 5pm

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Gulf Coast Refiners, Producers Plan Re-Openings after Nate

“Some oil ports, producers and refiners in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama that shut facilities ahead of Hurricane Nate were planning re-openings as the storm moved inland on Sunday, away from most energy infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast,” Reuters reports.

“Oil producers Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell began on Sunday to redeploy personnel, assess facilities and restore oil output in the Gulf of Mexico, including platforms, pipelines and terminals shut ahead of Nate, the companies said in statements.” 


Bill Would Streamline Natural Gas Pipeline Approval Process

U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Angus King (I-ME) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Coordinating Interagency Review of Natural Gas Infrastructure Act of 2017. This legislation seeks to streamline the permitting process for interstate projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“For too long, the natural gas pipeline permitting process has been crippled with inefficiencies that unnecessarily delay critical projects for interstate commerce,” said Inhofe. “By streamlining the permitting process, we can get pipelines from planning to serving the public faster and more efficiently. This bill brings all federal, state and local regulatory agencies to the table early on to coordinate participation—resulting in a more collaborative and timely review process.” 

Heating Fuel Up 27% for Customers this Winter

The outlook for residential bills during the upcoming months of November through March – the winter heating season – is up from the past two winters that featured unseasonably warm temperatures and historically low natural gas commodity prices.

National Fuel, in its annual winter forecast, predicts that customers should expect to pay on average nearly 27% more than last winter when a typical customer paid $464 for the five-month heating season. Assuming this year’s winter sees normal average temperatures, a typical residential customer should expect to pay about $588. An increase was in the making after customers saw the lowest natural gas bills in nearly 20 years in the past two winters thanks to a fortunate combination of mild winter weather and rock-bottom natural gas prices. 

Renewables Growth Squeezing Natural Gas and Coal

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable electricity is expected to grow by more than a third by 2022 to over 8,000 terawatt hours, which is equivalent to the total power consumption of China, India and Germany combined. By then, renewables will account for 30% of power generation, up from 24% in 2016. The growth in renewable generation will be twice as large as that of gas and coal combined. Though coal remains the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, renewables close the generation gap with coal by half in just five years. 

Energy Efficiency Gains at Risk of Slowing Down

The recent acceleration in global energy efficiency gains risks slowing down if governments do not maintain their focus on implementing new efficiency policies, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

Global energy intensity – the energy used per unit of gross domestic product – fell by 1.8% in 2016, a sign the global economy generated more value from its energy. Improvement seen in 2016 confirms the strong progress seen since the start of the decade.

But this progress masks some concerning policy trends. While efficiency codes and standards grew to cover about 32% of global energy use in 2016, nearly all of the increase in coverage came from existing policies and over two-thirds of global energy use is still not covered. 

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