Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose 1.9 percent from May 2013 to average 18.9 million barrels per day last month. These were the highest May deliveries in six years.
“Last month saw a continuation of recent trends, with strong demand and even stronger production resulting in falling import levels,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy.
Gasoline demand gained 3.6 percent from May 2013 to average 9.3 million barrels per day, the highest level for the month since 2007. Demand increased for jet fuel by 0.6 percent and for distillate by 5.2 percent from the prior year to average 1.4 million barrels per day and just below 4.0 million barrels per day, respectively. Residual fuel deliveries fell over the same period by 13.5 percent to an all-time record low of 186 thousand barrels per day, and demand for “other oils” fell 1.1 percent over year-ago levels.
U.S. crude oil production increased by 14.7 percent from last May to 8.3 million barrels per day, the highest level for the month since 1987. According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. in May was 1,859, up 24 counts from April, and up by 92 counts from May 2013. This was the highest count since September 2012.
Total imports averaged just below 9.6 million barrels per day in May, falling by 4.5 percent from the prior year. Crude oil imports fell 1.9 percent over the same period to 7.6 million barrels per day. Both figures represent the lowest May levels in 19 years. Imports of refined products fell by 13.2 percent from last year to the lowest imports level in 18 years at 2.0 million barrels per day.
Gasoline production rose to a new all-time high of 10.3 million barrels per day – the first time ever above 10.0 million barrels per day – on an increase of 10.9 percent over May 2013’s output. Production of distillate fuel reached the highest output level ever recorded for the month of May. The 5.0 percent increase from the prior year lifted distillate production to just over 5.0 million barrels per day.
At 16.1 million barrels per day, U.S. refinery gross inputs were up 2.4 percent from last May to the highest level for the month since 2005. Exports of refined petroleum products were up by 10.9 percent from the prior year to average 3.8 million barrels per day. These were the highest exports for the month on record. The refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 89.7 percent in May. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.934 million barrels per day.
Crude oil stocks ended at 382.9 million barrels, down by 2.4 percent from the prior year. Stocks of motor gasoline were down by 3.6 percent from last year to 213.7 million barrels in May. Distillate, jet fuel and “other oils” stocks were all down from year ago levels.