The national average retail price for both diesel and gasoline increased this week, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), even as U.S. domestic energy production continues to knock back petroleum imports.
Diesel jumped 3.7 cents this week to a national average of $2.165 per gallon, EIA noted, though that is 61.5 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.
Prices for diesel climbed in every region of the country, the agency reported, with the biggest jump on the Gulf Coast at 5.4 cents to $2.046 per gallon, followed by the West Coast (with California’s prices excluded) with a 5.1 cent hike to $2.251 and New England with a 5 cent spike to $2.287.
Gasoline increased 6.8 cents this week to a national average of $2.137 per gallon, EIA said, though that is 34.8 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.
Only on the Gulf Coast does gasoline remain below the $2 per gallon mark, the agency noted, with gasoline prices increasing an average of 7.5 cents in that section of the country this week to $1.910 per gallon.
The biggest regional jumps in gasoline prices this week occurred in:
- The Midwest: up 9.2 cents to $2.7 per gallon
- New England: up 8.3 cents to $2.155
- Central Atlantic: up 8.2 cents to $2.171
In a separate note, EIA reported that total U.S. energy production increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2015, according to its most recent Monthly Energy Review.
The agency said national energy production reached a record 89 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), equivalent to 91% of total U.S. energy consumption, with liquid fuels production driving that increase with an 8% jump in crude oil production and a 9% increase for natural gas plant liquids, along with 5% jump in natural gas production.
Those increases more than offset a 10% decline in U.S. coal production last year, EIA noted.
A few other national energy production data points noted in the agency’s report include:
- Net imports continued to decline. U.S. primary energy net imports declined for the 10th consecutive year. Though imports increased 2% that was more than offset by a 6% increase in exports, with petroleum products accounting for 71% of U.S. primary energy exports.
- The fuel mix of energy exports continues to change. In 2008, the U.S. exported more than twice as much coal as natural gas. But by 2015, the U.S. exported only 0.1 quadrillion Btu more coal than natural gas.
- Mexico accounted for almost all of the increase in natural gas exports, while coal exports fell largely as a result of lower demand in Europe and China.
- Natural gas exports are expected to continue growing as the United States transitions from a net importer to a net exporter of natural gas by mid-2017.
- Primary energy consumption in the residential and commercial sectors decreased by 9% and 6%, respectively, in 2015, likely due to a milder winter in 2015, as “heating degree days” – a measure used to calculate temperature-related energy demand – fell by 10% year-on-year.
- Transportation sector fuel consumption increased by 2% in 2015, while the electric power and industrial sectors each recorded modest declines in overall energy consumption compared with 2014.
- Carbon dioxide emissions fell. After increasing in 2013 and 2014, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption fell by 2% in 2015. EIA said an increase in natural gas used for power generation, largely replacing coal, as the primary reason for this decrease, as natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal.