API: US petroleum demand rose in August to 5-year highs

Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, increased 0.8% from August 2014 to average 19.6 million b/d last month, recording the highest August deliveries in 5 years, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s monthly statistics for August.

“US crude oil and gasoline production soared to record highs in August as the industry finds innovative ways to increase production even as crude prices have fallen,” said API Director of Statistics Hazem Arafa.

According to API, motor gasoline demand rose 1.1% from August 2014 to average just above 9.4 million b/d, the highest deliveries for the month since 2007. For year to date, gasoline deliveries rose 2.6% compared with year to date of 2014.

Demand for distillate in August fell 3% from the prior year. For year to date, distillate deliveries fell 0.2% compared with year to date 2014, to just above 4 million b/d.

US crude oil production averaged 9.3 million b/d in August, up 5.4% from August 2014. Compared with year to date 2014, domestic crude oil production rose 10.6%.

Natural gas liquids production averaged nearly 3.3 million b/d, the highest August level on record. Compared with year to date 2014, NGL production rose 9%.

The latest report from Baker Hughes Inc. stated that the number of oil and gas rigs in the US in August was 894, up 3.2% from July, but remained below year-ago levels, down by 53%.

Total US petroleum imports in August averaged 9.9 million b/d, up by 5.5% from the prior month, and up 6.1% from the prior year. Meanwhile, crude oil imports fell slightly by 0.1% from August 2014 to their lowest level for the month of August in 20 years, averaging at nearly 7.5 million b/d.

Gasoline production of last month averaged nearly 10.1 million b/d. For the first time ever, gasoline production rose above 10 million b/d, up 3.3% from year ago levels.

Refinery gross inputs rose by 1.5% from last August to average nearly 17 million b/d, a record high for the month of August.

The refinery capacity utilization rate in August averaged above 90% for the fifth consecutive month this year at 94.3%. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.982 million b/d, up from last year’s capacity of 17.835 million b/d.

Crude oil stocks ended last month at 458.1 million bbl. “Though this was the lowest inventory level since February, the August inventory level remained the highest inventory level in 85 years, since 1930.” API said.

Stocks of motor gasoline ended August at 214.5 million bbl, down 0.9% from July, but up 1.1% from last year. Distillate, jet fuel and “other oils” stocks were also up from year ago levels.

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