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Petroleum Demand Up in December and Fourth Quarter (includes Monthly Statistical Report)

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2014 ─ Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose by 5.8 percent from December 2012 to average nearly 19.2 million barrels per day last month. For the fourth quarter of 2013, petroleum deliveries increased by 4.6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

“Both demand and production in December showed strong gains over the prior year, reflecting continued progress in domestic manufacturing as well as the broader economy,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

Gasoline demand rose by 4.5 percent from December 2012 to average nearly 8.8 million barrels per day. Demand also increased from the prior year for distillate (5.9 percent), jet fuel (9.9 percent), “other oils” (11.1 percent) and residual fuel (40.5 percent).

Domestic crude production increased by 14.5 percent in December and 13.4 percent in the fourth quarter from 2012 levels to just over 8.1 million barrels per day–the highest level for the month in 26 years. According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. in December was 1,771, up from November’s count of 1,756.

U.S. total imports were down 6.0 percent from December 2012 to average just above 9.0 million barrels per day. Crude oil imports fell 4.1 percent over the same period to 7.3 million barrels per day. Both figures marked the lowest December level in 18 years. Imports of refined products were down by 13.2 percent from December 2012 to 1.8 million barrels per day, the lowest level for the month in 16 years.

Refinery gross inputs rose by 4.6 percent from December 2012 to their highest level for the month at 16.4 million barrels per day. Exports of refined petroleum products were at 3.7 million barrels per day, up by 2.9 percent in December and 10.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same periods in 2012.

Gasoline production was up by 4.2 percent from last year to the highest output for the month at 9.4 million barrels per day, just 66 thousand barrels per day below the all-time high set in July 2010. At an all-time high of nearly 5.2 million barrels per day, distillate production rose 5.7 percent from December 2012.

Crude oil stocks fell 2.4 percent from last year to end at 356.6 million barrels–but remained the second highest inventory level for the month in 32 years, since 1981. Stocks of motor gasoline ended down 4.2 percent from last year to 221.1 million barrels in December.

The refinery utilization rate averaged 92.3 percent in December, up 3.0 percentage points from November and 1.9 percentage points higher than the same period last year. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.816 million barrels per day, up 2.4 percent from last year’s capacity of 17.391 million barrels per day.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 580 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 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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