By DAVID BIRD
NEW YORK -- US oil demand fell 3.8% in September from a year
earlier, to 18.2 million bpd, the American Petroleum Institute
(API) said Friday.
The trade group said total petroleum deliveries in the
month, a proxy for demand, were the second lowest for the month
since 1996. Demand was down 2.1% from August.
Demand in the first nine months of the year was 2.4% below
the same period in 2011, at 18.505 million bpd.
"The September demand numbers indicate there's still
substantial weakness in the economy," said John Felmy, API
chief economist, in a statement. "While manufacturing and
employment have improved some, we've yet to see strong momentum
Demand for gasoline, the most widely used petroleum product
for the world's biggest oil consumer, dropped 2% from a year
earlier, to 8.572 million bpd. Nine-month average demand of
8.73 million bpd was down 0.7% from the same time in
September demand for distillate fuel (heating oil/diesel)
was 4% below the year-earlier level, at 3.777 million bpd, and
was down 3.3% in the first three quarters of the year, to 3.869
Within the distillate figure, demand for ultra-low sulfur
diesel was 3.492 million bpd in September, up 2.9% from a year
ago. Year-to-date diesel demand was down 0.8%, at 3.43 million
Jet fuel use was 3.4% higher in September versus a year
earlier, at 1.464 million bpd, but was down by 1.7%
Crude oil inputs to refineries in the month averaged 14.721
million bpd, off 3.6% from a year earlier.
Imports of crude oil fell by 1.1% to average just over 8.8
million bpd in September.
Crude oil production was 12.8% above year-ago levels, at
6.295 million bpd, the highest level in the month since 1997.
Output from shale oil fields pushed North Dakota crude oil
production above 700,000 bpd for the second consecutive
Alaska production in September rose by 28.6% from August to
526,000 bpd, offsetting some of the year-to-date slide, but was
down 10.1% from a year earlier.
Crude oil stocks were up 9.7% in September a year ago and
were 1.5% higher than in August, at 364.1 million bbl. Stocks
of all major products were down from last year's levels, with
gasoline inventories down 7% in September and down 0.7% from
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