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US monthly gasoline output surges to all-time high

05.22.2014  | 

Production of gasoline jumped 9.2% from a year earlier to a record 9.79 million bpd last month, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute (API) trade group said today in a new report.



US gasoline production climbed to an all-time high in April as fuel exports surged, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in a monthly report.

Production of gasoline jumped 9.2% from a year earlier to a record 9.79 million bpd last month, the industry-funded group said. Output of distillate fuel, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, rose 12% to 4.95 million, a record for the month.

“Demand is up for both gasoline and distillate, and refiners are meeting it,” said John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington.

Gasoline consumption jumped 2.7% to 9 million bpd. Demand for distillates increased 8.8% to 4.21 million, the most for April since 2007. Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, advanced 2.3% to 19 million bpd.

Refineries processed 16.1 million bpd, a record for April. Production of gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuel exceeded domestic demand, leading to a gain in exports.

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central US, including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Most of the output from shale is light, sweet crude, or oil with low density and sulfur content, which yields a high proportion of diesel and gasoline.

Fuel exports rose 16% to 3.72 million bpd, a record for the month. The all-time high of 4.4 million came in December.

“I suspect that the influx of light, sweet crude from the Bakken and Eagle Ford, along with the gain in refinery input, is behind the rise in gasoline output,” Felmy said. “We’re lucky to be able to export the additional barrels, which helps the refinery sector.”

US crude oil output increased 13% to 8.25 million bpd, the most for April since 1988. Output of natural gas liquids, a drilling by-product, climbed 9.2% to 2.7 million.

Jet fuel consumption dropped 0.5% to 1.41 million bpd, the second-lowest April level in 19 years. Demand for residual oil, used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion, dropped 13% to 248,000 bpd.

Total oil and fuel imports rose 0.6% in April to 10.1 million bpd, the second-lowest total in 17 years.

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