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US sets new record for petroleum demand

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) latest monthly statistical report showed that US petroleum demand in October was 20.8 million bpd, the strongest for the month since 2006.

The US also set October records for gasoline demand at 9.5 million bpd; refining and petrochemical demand for liquid feedstocks, naphtha, and gasoil at 5.1 million bpd; and refinery throughput at 16.6 million bpd.

“Strong petroleum demand is a continued reflection of a strengthening US economy,” said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. “Coupled with robust production of crude oil at 11.2 million bpd and another 4.5 million bpd of NGLs in October, the US continued to meet virtually all global oil demand growth so far this year while it also kept domestic oil prices more than US$9.00/bbl below international ones and fuel costs affordable for consumers here at home.”

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) separately revised its short-term outlook to project a global oil supply surplus and lower prices for this quarter through 2019. With EIA final data for August (11.3 million bpd for crude oil and 4.6 million bpd for NGLs), the October US production levels were not records but nonetheless reflected strong investment, drilling activity, and output. As supply growth outpaced that of refinery throughput and exports, US crude oil inventories rose 6.3% between September and October; this was the biggest monthly accumulation since March 2015.

In October, US petroleum exports (7.6 million bpd) increased for a second consecutive month since a setback in August, when China stopped purchasing US crude oil. However, with US oil prices having remained below international levels, the EU, Japan, Mexico, and Canada in total increased their purchases of US crude oil and refined products by more than US$1.0 billion between August and September.

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