EIA data: US reached record energy consumption

By Luke Geiver | April 16, 2019

U.S. energy consumption set a record in 2018, increasing by 4 percent above 2017 levels and 0.3 percent above the previous record set in 2007, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Natural gas consumption was the rising star amongst all energy types. Coal consumption dropped by 4 percent. Compared to 2017, natural gas consumption rose 10 percent. Natural gas appears to be on the sharpest increase rise, followed by a similar rise in usage for both petroleum and renewables. Nuclear consumption has stayed flat since roughly 2000.

For petroleum, the U.S. consumed 500,000 b/d more in 2018 than 2017 for a total of 20.5 million barrels per day. “Growth was driven primarily by increased use in the industrial sector, which grew by about 200,000 b/d in 2018. The transportation sector grew by about 140,000 b/d in 2018 as a result of increased demand for fuels such as petroleum diesel and jet fuel,” EIA said.

Natural gas reached a record consumption total in 2018 at 83.1 billion cubic feet/day. Weather related factors causing the need for heat and air conditioning was the main reason for the record year. “As more natural gas-fired power plants came online and existing natural gas-fired power plants were used more often, natural gas consumption in the electric power sector increased 15 percent from 2017 levels to 29.1 Bcf/d,” EIA said.

In the U.S., unconventional oil production accounts for roughly 8.3 million barrels of oil per day. The Bakken is pumping 1.3 mbpd, the Permian 4.0 mbpd, and Eagle Ford 1.4 mbpd.

In 2018, the U.S imported 24.841 quadrillion Btu and exported roughly 21 quadrillion Btu, for a shortfall of 3.6 quadrillion Btu.