Diesel declines, gasoline rises

Diesel declines, gasoline rises

Average retail pump prices in the U.S. continued to move in opposite directions this week, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), with diesel declining slightly while gasoline experienced another increase.

Diesel dropped 7/10ths of a penny to a national average of $3.918 per gallon, the EIA reported, which is 4.9 cents per gallon higher compared to the same week in 2013.

The agency added that diesel fuel prices fell in every region of the U.S. this week, dropping the most in the Central Atlantic: 1.1 cents to $4.116 per gallon. Diesel exceeded the $4 per gallon mark in five areas of the country this week: the aforementioned Central Atlantic; New England ($4.124); the East Coast ($4.013); California ($4.163); and the West Coast ($4.021, which falls to $3.923 with California’s prices removed).

Gasoline increased 1.6 cents to a national retail pump price average of $3.69, EIA said, which is 4.4 cents per gallon higher compared to the same week in 2013.

Prices dipped in four regions: The East Coast (down 1.1 cents per gallon); New England (down 4/10ths of a penny); the Central Atlantic (down 8/10ths of a penny); and the Lower Atlantic (down 1.6 cents). By contrast, gasoline prices increased in every other part of the country, increasing the most in the Midwest (6.2 cents to $3.713 per gallon) and the West Coast (2.1 cents to $3.799).

The EIA also noted this week that total U.S. domestic energy production reached 81.7 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2013, enough to satisfy 84% of total U.S. energy demand, which totaled 97.5 quads.

Natural gas was the largest domestically produced energy resource for the third year in a row and, together with the other fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, and hydrocarbon gas liquids), accounted for more than three quarters of U.S. energy production. In total, the U.S. consumed 97.5 quads of energy, of which 82% was fossil fuels. Renewable and nuclear energy made up 10% and 8%, respectively, of U.S. energy consumption, the agency noted.

The portion of U.S. energy consumption supplied by domestic production has been increasing since 2005, EIA added, when it was at its historical low point (69%). Since 2005, production of domestic resources – particularly natural gas and crude oil – has been increasing as a result of the application of technologies that can develop harder-to-produce resources.

At the same time, reduced road travel, improved vehicle efficiency, and competition among fuels for electric power generation have limited consumption of petroleum and coal, EIA said.

The last significant rise in the ratio of domestic production to consumption occurred from 1978 to 1982, the agency pointed out; a time period when oil consumption declined in response to higher prices and changing policies, alongside domestic oil production growth from Alaska's North Slope region.

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