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US: February petroleum demand highest since 2008

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Total US petroleum deliveries increased by 1.5% from February 2014 to average 19.3 million bpd. This was the highest February demand since 2008.

“Greater demand for gasoline and jet fuel and a colder than usual February brought total February deliveries back to prerecession levels,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “At the same time, the continued strength of crude oil and refinery production ensured that stocks of crude and refined products remained high.”

February gasoline demand rose by 0.1% from the prior year to average 8.7 million bpd, the highest level for the month since 2009. Demand for jet fuel increased by 2.4% over the same period to the highest February level since 2008, while deliveries of other oils gained 13.0%, driven by strong demand for propane. Demand for distillate and residual fuel fell by 4.0% and 4.3%, respectively.

At nearly 9.3 million bpd, US crude oil production in February increased by 14.5% from a year earlier. This was the highest crude oil production level since April 1973. Natural gas liquids (NGL) production, a co-product of natural gas production, set a new all time high last month by gaining 18.1% over the same period to average nearly 3.2 million bpd.

According to the latest reports from Baker Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the US in February was 1348, a drop of 19.9% from the previous month and 23.8% below the year ago level.

US total imports in February averaged nearly 9.8 million bpd, 7.0% higher than the prior year. Meanwhile, crude oil imports rose by 6.0% to just over 7.6 million bpd. Both figures were the third lowest February levels in 18 years, although the level of crude oil imports was also the highest for the month since 2012.

At nearly 9.5 million bpd, production of gasoline hit a record high for the month on a 1.9% increase from February 2014. Production of distillate fuel in February rose by 3.8% from the prior year to reach a record February level of over 4.7 million bpd.

Refinery gross inputs rose by 0.7% from last year to a record high for the month of over 15.6 million bpd. At the same time, exports of refined petroleum products were up by 27.5% to average 4.6 million bpd, the highest February level ever. The refinery capacity utilisation rate averaged 87.9% last month. This was down 1.6 percentage points from January but up 1.3 percentage points from February 2014. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.793 million bpd.

Crude oil stocks ended up by 17.8% from a year earlier at 439.7 million bbls, the highest February inventory level since 1930. Stocks of motor gasoline also ended higher in February, up 3.7% from last year to 236.6 million bbls. Stocks of distillate, jet fuel and other oils were all up from year ago levels as well.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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