Total US petroleum deliveries, used to measure demand, rose
slightly in August to 19.7 million bpd compared with August a
year ago, with demand for gasoline and distillates moving in
opposite directions, according to the American Petroleum
Gasoline demand fell by 1.3% to a 10-year low for the month,
while distillate demand rose by 10.8%. On a year-to-date basis,
gasoline demand was 2% lower than in 2010.
"The US economy is still struggling," said API chief
economist John Felmy. "Retail sales are weak, and we're seeing
a reflection of that in the gasoline demand numbers.
The rise in distillate demand accords with data that
suggest modest growth in manufacturing, but consumers remain
cautious, he added.
Despite the dip in gasoline demand, US refinery production of gasoline was
up 0.6% over August 2010 and was higher for the first eight
months of the year than any previous January-through-August
Production of distillate fuel and jet fuel were also up,
with distillate fuel production setting a record for any August
and for any year to date. Refinery inputs remained over 15,000
bpd for the third month in a row but were lower than in August
a year ago.
At 1.6 million bpd, total imports of petroleum products were
down from last year by 11% to a 14-year low for August.
Crude imports fell by 1.8% to 9.4 million bpd. Canadian
imports of crude oil showed a 7% jump from last year to average
2.1 million bpd for August.
Crude oil production fell to a three-year low for the month,
slipping to its lowest level in 2011 to 5.1 million bpd.
However, year to date, crude production was higher by 1.1%
compared with 2010.
Production in the lower-48 states was down by 6.3%.
According to Baker Hughes Inc., total oil and gas rigs jumped
by 57 to 1,957, a three-year high.
For the third time this year, crude oil stocks showed
year-over-year declines, yet this stock level was still the
second highest for any August since 1990, after August
Total stocks of oil and products were down 6.5% from last
year and down 0.7% from June 2011 levels.
Motor gasoline stocks fell on a monthly and yearly basis to
210.0 million barrels, but they still were the second-highest
for the month of August since 1998.
Distillate fuel stocks rose from July levels but were down
from last August by 8.0%, according to the API.