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Petroleum demand edges up (includes Monthly Statistical Report)

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2012 – Total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose half a percent in May over the same month last year to 18.5 million barrels per day. Gasoline demand was up 0.4 percent, but, for the first five months of 2012, was 0.6 percent below the same period a year ago. May distillate demand was up 2.0 percent, though down 1.5 percent for the first five months. Jet fuel demand rose in May.

“Despite the positive movement, fuel demand is still not strong,” said API chief economist John Felmy. “Weak growth in the United States, stubborn unemployment, and a world economy doing little better than treading water are contributing to this. Gradually improving vehicle fuel efficiency may also be a factor.”

Supplies of refined products were ample. U.S. refinery production of all four major products – gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels – outpaced domestic demand. U.S. gasoline production of 9.092 million barrels per day was above 9.0 million barrels per day for the second month in a row and at the third highest May level.

Refinery utilization was 85.9 percent for the month, up 0.4 percentage points from May 2011. Total refinery inputs in May were 0.7 percent higher than last year.

Exports of refined products increased 19.3 percent this May over a year ago.

Imports of crude oil and refined products fell in May by 10.4 percent to average 10.5 million barrels per day. Imports of crude oil declined in May by 1.3 percent to average 8.9 million barrels a day. Canadian crude imports made up nearly 23 percent of total crude oil imports for the month.

Domestic crude oil production rose by 8.5 percent in May to average 6.1 million barrels per day. North Dakota production in May set a record at 574 thousand barrels per day, eclipsing production from Alaska, which fell 5.0 percent to 572 thousand barrels per day.

The number of oil and gas rigs increased from 1,962 in April to 1,977 in May, according to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes Inc.

At the end of May, crude oil stocks at 384.1 million barrels were up 3.9 percent from last year and up 2.5 percent from April levels. Gasoline stocks posted declines for the month, down 4.0 percent from a year ago and down 2.3 percent from month ago levels.

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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