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US gasoline, diesel demand continues to recover

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

US gasoline demand carried over the modest recovery it saw in September through the month of October, according to the API’s Monthly Statistical Report. October gasoline deliveries averaged 9.04 million bpd, 1.4% higher than the previous month and 0/6% higher than October 2009.

Domestic distillate deliveries, meanwhile, were up 4% compared with October 2009, driven by robust demand in ultra low sulfur distillates (ULSD), the type used for on highway fuel, indicating continued positive momentum in industrial activity. ULSD deliveries averaged 3.19 million bpd, 8.4% higher than the previous October.

‘The October data suggests continued economic recovery, although still on a small scale,’ observed API Chief Economist John Felmy. ‘We will have to see how recent petroleum price increases factor into consumer confidence and demand moving forward.’

US crude oil production in October rose to 5.5 billion bpd, marking the highest production level for any October since 2003. Production from the Lower 48, at 4.86 million bpd, held mostly steady compared with recent months, and was up 0.2% from October 2009 levels. Following the summer maintenance season, Alaskan crude oil production, at 654 000 bpd in October, was higher than September, but was 0.6% lower than the corresponding month a year ago.

US crude oil inventories continued to build in October, the fourth consecutive month to month increase. At 366 million bbls, end October’s crude oil stocks were the highest for any October since 1980.

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