Welcome to the new FUELSNews series: What Is It Wednesday. Each week, we’ll pick a fuel industry topic to explain, so you can learn more about what matters.
Today, we’ll be looking at the Energy Information Administration, or EIA. According to their website:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA is the nation’s premier source of energy information and, by law, its data, analyses, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the U.S. government.
The agency, founded in 1977, has become one of the premier sources of industry data and analysis. Few nations have the level of transparency in their oil markets – the EIA publishes weekly data on US fuel consumption, production, imports and exports, prices, and inventory levels. They also track movement of fuel between areas, dividing the country into geographic “PADDs” for better analysis.
The agency publishes a vast trove of data that can help consumers make better decisions for their business. They collect this data from mandatory industry surveys, government data, third-party sources and more. Their data is cited worldwide, from industry publications to multinational agencies.
Getting the Most from the EIA
The EIA publishes all kinds of data – so much, it can be hard to keep track of it all. Here are a few portions of EIA information that you can immediately use to stay on top of fuel trends:
The EIA sends tons of different email updates on a variety of different topics. You can sign up for their email publications here. If you prefer starting with fewer updates, here are a few good ones to start with:
- Annual Energy Outlook
- Short-Term Energy Outlook
- This Week in Petroleum
- Today in Energy
Maps & Data
Wondering what energy infrastructure is in your area? Have a storm approaching and not sure how that impacts your fuel supply security? The EIA has a US Energy Mapping System that shows everything from fuel pipelines and refineries to electricity transmission and power relays. For fuel markets, try Removing All then selecting Petroleum Refinery, Petroleum Product Pipeline, Petroleum Product Terminals, and Petroleum Port.
Weekly Petroleum Data
As noted above, the EIA publishes tons of weekly data on fuel market trends. For a listing of all key reports, check here. The Weekly Supply Estimate is particularly helpful, showing you oil production, refinery stats, inventories, days of supply, and fuel demand (called “product supplied). Want to drill in on one? Check the box and select “Graph” at the top.
Short-Term Energy Outlook
Each month, the EIA forecasts prices, market fundamentals, and more for the next 18 months in their Short-Term Energy Outlook. This is a great place to find price forecasts for the upcoming year, as well as detailed updates on future market trends. The main forecast is for WTI Crude Oil, but by downloading “All Tables” at the top and going to “2tab”, you can see the forecast for both wholesale and retail fuel by product, including gasoline and diesel.
Annual Energy Outlook
Once a year, the EIA provides its Annual Energy Outlook, a long-term forecast for fuel prices, currently looking out through 2050. Focused on all energy including renewables, natural gas, coal, and oil, the report looks at higher level trends such as electric vehicle adoption, conversions between different energy sources, and more.