By DAVID BIRD
NEW YORK -- US oil demand dropped to a 16-year low in 2012
and is expected to rise only marginally through 2014,
government forecasters said Tuesday.
The Energy Information Administration's update to its
monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook shows the world's biggest oil
consumer burned less oil than previously thought last year. The
EIA said 2012 demand dropped by 1.8% year-on-year to 18.6
The month-earlier forecast showed 2012 demand of 18.65 million
bpd. That put demand last year at a 15-year low, but the
revision put it to a 16-year low.
With the downward revision for 2012, the EIA now sees 2013
US demand rising 0.3%, to 18.65 million bpd, with 2014 demand
up 0.4%, at 18.72 million bpd. The 2014 figure would be down
10%, or nearly 2.1 million bpd below the demand peak hit in
2005, of 20.8 million bpd.
Demand for gasoline -- the most widely used petroleum
product in the world's biggest oil consumer -- is expected to
flatten out at the 2012 level of 8.72 million bpd through 2014
as the impact of slow growth in the driving-age population,
retirement of less-fuel efficient vehicles and improvement in
fuel-economy standards take hold.
Demand slipped in 2012 by 0.4%, the third straight decline,
hitting an 11-year low.
Jet fuel use is expected to be little changed through 2014,
while distillate fuel [diesel/heating oil] and liquefied
petroleum gas consumption increase.
Surging US crude oil output is expected to rise more slowly
than had been expected. Output in 2013 is expected to rise by
12.6%, a slower rate than the 13.8% rise projected a month earlier. Projected
2013 output of 7.25 million bpd would be the most since
In 2014, crude oil output is expected to rise 5.1%, to 7.82
million bpd, the most since 1988. Last month, the EIA projected
growth of 8.2% to 7.92 million bpd.
"Central to this projected growth will be continuing
development of onshore basins," the EIA said. "Drilling in
tight oil plays in the Williston, Western Gulf, and Permian
Basins is expected to account for the bulk of forecast
production growth over the next two years."
Alaskan crude oil output will decline to 500,000 bpd in
2013 and 470,000 bpd in 2014 from 530,000 bpd last year.
Gulf of Mexico output is expected to average 1.4
million bpd this year, up from 1.3 million bpd in 2012.
Output in 2014 is expected to average 1.5 million bpd, as some
high-volume deepwater projects are expected to come
Net oil imports are expected to continue to drop, to an
average of 6.1 million bpd by 2014 from 7.5 million bpd in
2012. In 2005, net imports peaked at 12.5 million bpd.
The net-import share of US oil demand is expected to drop to
32% in 2014 from a peak of more than 60% in 2005.
Dow Jones Newswires