U.S. energy production exceeded its consumption last year for the first time since 1957, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
U.S. energy production in 2019 grew 5.7% to 101.0 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) and energy consumption decreased by 0.9% to 100.2 million quads.
“U.S. domestic energy production has grown substantially during the past decade,” the EIA notes. “The growth is largely a result of increases in crude oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. In 2019, U.S. crude oil and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production totaled 31.8 quads, and natural gas production equaled 34.9 quads. Both values are record highs in the United States, surpassing their previous highs set in 2018.”
2019 proved to be a milestone year for natural gas, as U.S. consumption of the energy source hit an all-time high (having increased 35% since 2000).
Meanwhile, renewable energy consumption has increased by 88% during the same time frame, according to the EIA.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI), meanwhile, has had a rocky road in recent weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
WTI futures bounced back into positive territory, reaching $12.78 per barrel on Tuesday after hovering around -$38 per barrel a week ago. A year ago, WTI stood at over $63 per barrel.
Recently, OPEC+ reached an agreement to cut output by 9.7 billion barrels per day over two months (beginning May 1) in an effort to support prices.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Texas Railroad Commission last week opted to postpone a decision with respect to potentially mandating oil output cuts in the state, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Per the EIA, petroleum has accounted for the largest share of U.S. energy consumption since 1950, but has fallen nearly 9% from its peak in 2005.
On the heels of falling demand and a ramp-up in supply — as a result of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia over proposed output cuts (before the later agreement) — motorists are enjoying low prices at the pump.
According to AAA, the national average gas price is $1.77 per gallon, with only 12 states having averages greater than $2.00 per gallon.