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API: U.S. Continues to Lead the World in Natural Gas Liquids and Crude Oil Production; Petroleum Demand at Strongest Level for Month of March since 2005


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WASHINGTON, April 18, 2019 – Today, the American Petroleum Institute’s latest monthly statistical report showed that the U.S. sustained its position as the world’s leading oil producer, continuing a pace of 12.1 million barrels a day (mb/d), matching February 2019. In addition, petroleum demand in March was the strongest for that month in more than a decade at 20.7 mb/d.  

“Robust and record levels of U.S. natural gas and oil production continue to lead the world and have played a predominant role in meeting increased global demand for gasoline, distillate and jet fuel,” said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. “However, from this strong point of departure the pace of market growth also slowed in March, which highlights the importance of enhancing America’s infrastructure and market access. To continue this success story, we need to focus on policies that foster access to resources, investment in domestic and export infrastructure, a level playing field through smart energy policies, and strong international trade relations.”  

March 2019 highlights:

  • Sustained record U.S. crude oil production (12.1 mb/d)
  • Petroleum inventories increased by 6.4 percent y/y and were 4.7 percent above the 5-year average
  • Gasoline demand (9.2 mb/d) in March decreased 2.1 percent year over year
  • Strongest March distillate demand since 2007, but growth halved from 2018
  • Strong March jet fuel demand, yet growth slowed
  • Residual fuel demand decreased
  • Refinery and petrochemical other oils’ demand (5.2 mb/d) highest for March on record
  • U.S. exports of crude oil and refined products fell by 4.0 percent between February and March

Notably, crude oil and refined products – since last year, the U.S. saw record exports for the month of March. However, total U.S. petroleum exports fell by 4.0 percent or 320 kb/d between February and March, slowing for the fourth consecutive month. U.S. petroleum imports fell to 9.1 mb/d, which for the month of March were the lowest imports since 1995. With exports falling relatively more than imports in March, the U.S. petroleum trade balance increased to 1.3 mb/d of net imports from 1.1 mb/d in February. 

“The U.S. is playing a lead role in meeting rapidly increasing global energy demand, and its growing use of U.S. produced natural gas in electricity generation has resulted in significant savings for American households and has helped to reduce carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.  Abundant, affordable natural gas and oil have helped U.S. households with their budgets – in fact, at a time when spending for healthcare, education and food rose significantly between 2007 and 2017, spending for household energy declined.”

For more information on the quarterly and monthly reports, please visit our Energy Tomorrow blog and API website, where the reports are now available to view and share and please see detailed analysis of API’s Industry Outlook here.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, 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 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

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Monthly Statistical Report

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Petroleum Facts at a Glance

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