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API: Demand for petroleum gasoline rose in January

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Total petroleum deliveries, a measure of US demand, rose 0.8% in January from the prior year to 19.4 million bpd. These were the highest January deliveries in eight years, since 2008. Total motor gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer gasoline demand, rose 1.4% from January 2015 to average 8.8 million bpd, the highest January demand since 2007. At nearly 3.6 million bpd, distillate deliveries decreased by 14.5% compared with January 2015.

“Low crude oil and gasoline prices increased consumer demand in January,” said Erica Bowman, API Chief Economist. “The industry also produced record amounts of gasoline for the month of January that more than met rising consumer demand. Additionally, refineries found plenty of international buyers for excess production leading to a record setting January export level. This export market helps to minimise the trade deficit and keep manufacturing jobs here at home.”

Crude oil production decreased 1.4% from January 2015 to average 9.2 million bpd. Texas continued with high production, posting the highest ever January production. However, North Dakota year over year production continued to decline for the fifth consecutive month from record high levels.

US total petroleum imports averaged 9.9 million bpd, up 5.3% from the prior year. Crude oil imports increased 8% from January 2015 to 7.7 million bpd. Refined product imports in January declined by 3.3% from the prior year to just under 2.2 million bpd.

Refinery gross inputs rose 2.5% from January 2015 to reach a new high for the month, averaging 16.2 million bpd. Production of all four major products, gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels, was higher than demand for those products.

Exports of refined petroleum products increased by 0.8% in January 2016 compared to January 2015 to average 4.6 million bpd. This was the highest January export level ever. Gasoline production averaged nearly 9.5 million bpd, up 1.6% from the prior year. However, distillate fuel production declined by 4.8% from January 2015. Refinery capacity utilisation rate averaged 89.3% in January, up 0.9 percentage points from the prior year. This was the highest rate for the month in 11 years. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 18.130 million bpd.

Crude oil stocks ended in January at 501.6 million bbls, the highest January inventory level in 86 years, since 1930. Motor gasoline stocks rose 5.5% from year ago levels to their highest inventories in 34 years at 252.7 million bbls. Distillate fuel oil stocks ended at 161.5 million bbls, up 22.4% from year ago levels. Jet fuel stocks were up from year ago levels, rising by 8.4% to 41.7 million bbls. Stocks of ‘other oils’ were also up. Total inventories of all oils were up 13.7% from year ago levels.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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