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Petroleum demand rose in March (includes Monthly Statistical Report)

Carlton Carroll | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2016 – Total petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, rose 0.4 percent in March from March 2015 to average 19.3 million barrels per day. These were the highest March deliveries in eight years, since 2008. Total motor gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer demand, rose 2.2 percent from March 2015. Distillate deliveries fell 11.3 percent to average just below 3.6 million barrels per day.

“Historically low gasoline prices continued to drive strong demand for gasoline in March,” said Erica Bowman, API chief economist. “In fact, demand for gasoline in March was the highest ever recorded for the month.”

At just below 9 million barrels per day, U.S. crude oil production decreased by 6.8 percent from March 2015 but remained the second highest March production level in 30 years, since 1986. Natural gas liquids production in March averaged nearly 3.4 million barrels per day, which was the highest level for the month on record.

U.S. total petroleum imports in March averaged nearly 10 million barrels per day. This was the highest total petroleum imports level for any month since September 2013. 

At an average of 9.7 million barrels per day, production of gasoline in March was the highest ever for the month, up 1.6 percent from March 2015. Production of distillate fuel in March fell 1.2 percent from year ago levels to average 4.8 million barrels per day but remained the second highest March output level on record.

Refinery gross inputs rose by 2.8 percent from last year to a record high for the month at 16.3 million barrels per day. Production of all four major products–gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels--were higher than deliveries for those products, so refined petroleum products were exported. Exports of refined petroleum products were up from the prior year. The refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 89.5 percent in March. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 18.125 million barrels per day, up 341 thousand barrels per day from last year’s capacity of 17.874 million barrels per day.

Crude oil stocks ended in March at 530.1 million barrels—the highest inventory level for the month in 86 years, since 1930. Crude stocks rose by 55.3 million barrels, or up 11.6 percent from the prior year. Stocks of total motor gasoline rose 5.4 percent from last year to 243.9 million barrels in March. These were the highest stocks for the month in 34 years, since 1982. Distillate fuel oil stocks rose 27.9 percent from the same period last year to end at 164.1 million barrels–the highest March inventory level in 35 years, since 1981. Jet fuel stocks rose 18.8 percent from the prior year to end at 44.2 million barrels. Stocks of “other oils” rose from year ago levels.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.


Monthly Statistical Report Summary (March 2016)

File Size: .1 MB

Petroleum Facts at a Glance (March 2016)

File Size: .1 MB

Monthly Import Statistics - January 2016 (latest available)

File Size: MB

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