By DAVID BIRD
NEW YORK -- US oil demand dropped 2.1% to a 16-year low of
18.555 million bpd last year, the federal Energy Information
Administration said Wednesday.
Demand for all major petroleum products was lower, led by a
near 400,000-bpd decline in gasoline demand. Gasoline use fell
0.6% to an average of 8.703 million bpd, the weakest level in
11 years. Gasoline is the most widely used petroleum product in
the world's biggest oil consumer.
Annual US oil use has dropped by 10.8%, or 2.25 million
bpd since hitting a peak of 20.8 million bpd in 2005. EIA
has said increases in energy efficiency, higher fuel mileage
standards for cars, and substitution of natural gas for heating
oil in homes and for heavy fuel in some industrial boilers has
In December, US oil use slumped 3.6% from a year earlier, to
18.13 million bpd. That was the weakest December demand since
1993 and the lowest in any month since September 2008, when
Gulf Coast hurricanes curbed demand.
Gasoline use fell 3.5% in December from a year earlier to an
Demand for distillate fuel (diesel and heating oil) was down
8.4% from a year earlier, at 3.529 million bpd. Within that
figure, demand for ultra-low sulfur fuel, used to run trucks
and trains, was 6% lower than a year earlier.
For all of 2012, distillate use was down 4% from a year
earlier, with ULSD use down 1.6%.
Jet fuel use inched up 1.5% in December, to 1.373 million
bpd, but dropped 1.8% for all of 2012, to a three-year low of
1.399 million bpd.
Dow Jones Newswires