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国际英语新闻:Power sector pushes U.S. natural gas consumption to new high in 2018

Source: Xinhuanet    2019-03-26  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

HOUSTON, March 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. natural gas consumption increased by 10 percent in 2018, reaching a record high of 82.1 billion cubic feet (about 2.32 billion cubic meters) per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday.

Based on recently released Natural Gas Monthly by EIA, the agency said the country's domestic consumption of natural gas increased across all sectors in 2018, led by an increase of 3.8 billion cubic feet per day in the electric power sector, caused by a combination of recent natural gas-fired electric capacity additions and weather-related factors.

U.S. electric power sector consumed 29.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2018, or 35 percent of total domestic U.S. natural gas consumption. Natural gas continued to make up the highest share of utility-scale electricity generation after first surpassing coal-fired generation on an annual basis in 2016.

Specifically, natural gas accounted for 35 percent of utility-scale electricity generation in 2018, followed by coal with 27 percent, nuclear with 19 percent, and hydropower with 7 percent.

New natural gas generator capacity additions continued to displace coal-fired power plants and other less efficient sources of electricity. In 2018, about 14.5 gigawatts (GW) of net natural gas capacity were added, while almost 13 GW of coal-fired capacity were retired.

Annual fluctuations in natural gas consumption are largely driven by weather. During the winter, U.S. natural gas consumption levels are at their highest because natural gas is the predominant source of space heating in the residential and commercial sectors.

Meanwhile, EIA reported earlier this month that U.S. natural gas production in 2018 hit a new record high. The production grew by 10.0 billion cubic feet per day during 2018, an 11 percent increase from 2017. The growth was the largest annual increase in production on record, reaching a record high for the second consecutive year.

As natural gas production increased, the volume of natural gas exports, both through pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, reaching 9.9 billion cubic feet per day.

In 2018, total natural gas exports grew by 14 percent, and LNG exports grew by 53 percent. Both pipeline and LNG exports reached record monthly highs in December 2018 of 7.7 billion cubic feet per day and 4.0 billion cubic feet per day, respectively.


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