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API reacts to strong US petrol demand

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Despite rising fuel costs, total US petroleum deliveries marked a robust 4.4% increase in February over the same month a year ago. The 19.7 million bpy rate represents a three year high for the month. Gasoline deliveries rose by 4.2 percent, posting a record high for any February at 9 million bpd.

API chief economist John Felmy commented:

‘The boost in deliveries reflects an economy gaining strength. The Federal Reserve survey indicates an expansion in business and manufacturing. So it’s no surprise we’re seeing growth in petroleum deliveries. It’s welcome news for fuel producers and for the economy.’

Deliveries of ultra low sulfur distillates increased by 17.6% and high sulfur distillates were up by 30.6%, reflecting increased demand for truck fuel and home heating oil. Total distillate fuel deliveries of 4 million bpd were higher than any previous February since 2008. Jet fuel deliveries rose by 7.1% from the prior February and were at a three year high for the month.

While refinery maintenance and turnarounds reduced total inputs to crude distillation units, gasoline and distillate production achieved record highs for any February, with gasoline production averaging 9.2 million bpd, while distillate production averaged 4.3 million bpd.

Imports of crude oil and refined products decreased a combined 5.2% in February compared with February a year ago, with product imports falling by 22.6%. Domestic crude oil production fell by 1.6% to 5.4 million barrels per day from February 2010.

Crude stocks were at the second highest February level in the past ten years, just behind 2009. Inventories of motor gasoline fell from January 2011 and were also less than February 2010.

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