You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

There’s more fuel, but expect to pay more for heat this year


Forecasts from energy experts say the United States is on track to generate more of the energy it needs, including drilling for oil and natural gas in Ohio, a trend that promises to grow for at least 15 years.

Still, the government predicts that more than 90 percent of the homes in the U.S. will pay more for heat this winter compared with last winter.

The Energy Information Administration said last month the average cost to heat a home with natural gas, for example, will rise 13 percent to $679 for the entire winter heating season Oct. 1 through March 31.

Roughly two-thirds of all homes in the Midwest are heated with natural gas, according to the EIA.

Costs are projected to rise less for those who use propane and electricity for heat, the EIA said. Propane users on average will pay $1,666, or 9 percent more than last year, to heat their homes this winter, while electricity users will pay on average $909, or 2 percent more.

Heating oil users will actually see the average cost drop 2 percent to $2,046 for the winter, the EIA said.

Changing energy prices explain most of the differences in expected heating costs compared with last winter, the EIA said.

The anticipated rise in heating costs comes at a time when fuel is becoming more abundant in this country.

Last week, the International Energy Agency in London issued an annual report saying rising oil output from North America will reduce the role of Middle Eastern nations in supplying oil. The abundance of oil, natural gas from new discoveries and growth in renewable energy sources is likely to help drive industrial growth in places like Ohio and throughout the Midwest.

The agency said that natural gas in the U.S. now trades at one-third of imports to Europe and one-fifth of those to Japan, with average Japanese or European industrial consumers paying more than twice as much for electricity as their U.S. counterparts. It said that China’s industry pays almost double the U.S. level.

The agency said the U.S. should see its share of global exports of energy-intensive goods slightly increase to 2035, “providing the clearest indication of the link between relatively low energy prices and the industrial outlook.”

In May, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said that at the current rate of growth, Utica shale well production will exceed the yearly output of all of Ohio’s nearly 51,000 conventional wells by as early as 2015.

Based on 2012 Utica shale production averages, the department said a single Utica well produced as much oil as 312 conventional wells and a single Utica well produced as much natural gas as 448 conventional wells.

During 2012, 87 Utica wells produced 12 percent of Ohio’s total oil production and 16 percent of Ohio’s total gas production. Last week, ODNR said that 180 Utica wells were producing and 601 were drilled.

Law firm Bricker & Eckler LLP, which represents the oil and gas industry, said exploiting Ohio’s shale gas has led to projects worth about $12 billion, including processing plants. The amount does not include royalty payments.

The Utica is still in the exploration phase, said attorney Matt Warnock, and potential remains largely unknown.

“People are trying to figure out the hot spots, and it’s still early in the game,” he said.

The Energy Information Administration, also in a forecast, said the U.S. produced more crude oil in October than it imported for the first time since early 1995, with monthly estimated domestic crude oil output averaging 7.7 million barrels per day in October, the highest production for any October in 25 years. By comparison, oil imports were 7.6 million barrels per day.

The EIA boosted its forecast for U.S. natural gas production by 0.4 percent this year and nearly 1 percent for next year, “as domestic natural gas output reached record levels during the past several months despite lower gas prices.”

It said gas from the Marcellus Shale, which reaches into Ohio, has been the main driver of this production growth.

Meanwhile, electricity from renewable energy sources is growing. In some places like California, it’s experienced strong growth. During the first eight months of 2013, renewable energy, including hydropower from dams, supplied 19.1 percent of total electricity generation in California compared with 12.2 percent during the same period five years ago.

Wind power is forecast to grow by 17 percent this year and by nearly 4 percent in 2014, accounting for more than 4 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2014. Solar, too, will increase 82 percent this year and jump another 84 percent in 2014. But utility-scale solar power will continue to be a small share of total U.S. electric generation at less than 1 percent.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Warrant issued for pregnant Springfield mom after suspected OD
Warrant issued for pregnant Springfield mom after suspected OD

An arrest warrant has been issued for a pregnant Springfield woman on child endangering charges after police alleged she was found unresponsive over the weekend while she was supposed to be caring for a young child. Jessica Webb, 25, was found inside her home on Saturday, March 25. Her boyfriend came home and found a 4-year-old child unattended, according...
Fazoli’s CEO comes back to Dayton to announce menu overhaul
Fazoli’s CEO comes back to Dayton to announce menu overhaul

The CEO of the Fazoli’s Italian restaurant chain, which operates seven restaurants in the Dayton-Springfield area, returned to his hometown today to announce sweeping menu changes that have removed all artificial ingredients from every dish served. “We eliminated more than 80 artificial ingredients from 61 different menu items,” Carl...
Woman arrested on disorderly charge at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
Woman arrested on disorderly charge at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Police arrested a Florida woman Friday on a disorderly intoxication charge at Mar-a-Lago after Palm Beach police said she tried to rush toward a Secret Service-restricted zone inside the club and was talking to empty cars. Amanda Ayres Kerwin, 37, is charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors, according...
Premature ‘Baby Bun’ is thriving, marks milestone with parents
Premature ‘Baby Bun’ is thriving, marks milestone with parents

  It may be something that every child accomplishes, but it means even more to the parents of Kaleb Graves, also known as Baby Bun. Arkell and Dana Graves of Virginia posted video of Kaleb sitting up on his own for 1 minute and 48 seconds on Facebook. Kaleb was an internet sensation even before he was born when his father’s reaction to his...
Driver arrested after stolen vehicle collides with pickup truck
Driver arrested after stolen vehicle collides with pickup truck

Four people were sent to the hospital and one person is in custody after he allegedly drove a stolen vehicle through a red light and crashed into a pickup truck in Bethel Twp., Clark County. Police said the male who was arrested at the scene was observed getting out of the driver’s side of the stolen vehicle that ran the red light and hit...
More Stories