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Demand for petroleum rose in March & first quarter (includes Monthly Statistical Report)

Brian Straessle | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2015 ─ Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) increased 3.4 percent from March 2014 to average nearly 19.2 million barrels per day, the highest level for the month since 2011. For the first quarter of 2015, total demand gained 2.2 percent year-over-year.

“Production of both oil and natural gas liquids last month remained at the highest levels in decades even as rig counts reached a five-year low,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “Demand for petroleum continued to show healthy growth compared to early last year.”

Gasoline demand rose last month by 2.2 percent from the prior year to average nearly 8.9 million barrels per day, the highest deliveries for the month in six years. Deliveries of gasoline in the first quarter increased by 2.9 percent compared to last year.

Distillate deliveries were 1.7 percent lower than March 2014 to average just below 4.0 million barrels per day. Over the same period, demand rose for jet fuel (1.9 percent), residual fuel (15.7 percent) and “other oils” (14.0 percent).

At 9.3 million barrels per day, U.S. crude oil production increased by 13.2 percent from March 2014. Compared with the first quarter 2014, domestic crude oil production rose by 14.1 percent. This was the highest crude oil production level since February 1973, and was the highest March output since 1972.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) production, a co-product of natural gas production, averaged just over 3.0 million barrels per day last month. This was the highest March level on record and 9.1 percent above last year’s output. Compared with the first quarter 2014, NGL production rose by 13.2 percent.

According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. in March was 1108, a drop of 17.8 percent from the previous month and 38.5 percent below the year ago level. This was the lowest oil and gas rig count since February 2010.

U.S. total petroleum imports last month averaged nearly 9.8 million barrels per day. While this was the highest imports for the month in three years, it remains the third lowest March level since 1997. Meanwhile, crude oil imports rose by 5.4 percent from March 2014 to just below 7.7 million barrels per day.

At an average of nearly 9.4 million barrels per day, gasoline production decreased 1.6 percent from the prior year to the second highest March level ever. Distillate fuel production set a new March record last month, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier to 4.9 million barrels per day. For the first quarter, new all-time records were also set for both gasoline and distillate production.

Refinery gross inputs rose by 3.2 percent from last year to a record high for the month at nearly 15.9 million barrels per day. Exports of refined petroleum products rose by 18.1 percent from March 2014 to average nearly 4.6 million barrels per day–the highest March level ever.

The refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 89.2 percent last month, up 3.4 percentage points from the previous year. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.790 million barrels per day.

Crude stocks were up 22.1 percent from the prior year, ending March at 468.7 million barrels–the highest inventory level for the month since 1930. Stocks of motor gasoline ended up by 4.9 percent from last year at 231.8 million barrels. These were the highest stocks for the month since 1988. Stocks of distillate, jet fuel and “other oils” were all up from year ago levels as well.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 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 25 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.


Monthly Statistical Report - March 2015

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Petroleum Facts at a Glance - March 2015

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Monthly Import Statistics - January 2015 (latest available)

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