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US petroleum demand: December 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In December 2014, total US petroleum deliveries rose by 5.1% according to the API from December 2013 to average approximately 20 million bpd. For the fourth quarter, total domestic petroleum deliveries gained 2.9% compared to the same period in 2013. John Felmy, API Chief Economist said, “even with a noticeable rise in demand, crude stocks ended higher last month than in any other December in the last 84 years. Historically high production continues to be the driving factor.”

Crude oil

Crude oil stocks increased 7.4% from last year to end 383.5 million bbls, the highest inventory level for the month since 1930. Stocks of motor gasoline also ended higher last month, up by 0.4% from December 2013 levels to 228.9 million bbls. Stocks of distillate fuel and other oils increased from the prior year while jet fuel stocks fell slightly.

Domestic US crude oil production rose to its highest December output since 1972. At just over 9.1 million bpd, this was a 15.9% increase from the previous year. This was also the highest output for any month since February 1986. Natural gas liquids (NGL) production, reached a new all time record high at approximately 3.2 million bpd, up 19.4% from December 2013.

Oil products

Gasoline demand rose by 5.4% from the prior year to average over 9.1 million bpd in December 2014, the highest December level since 2007, with a fourth quarter increase of 3.4% year on year. Deliveries of residual fuel jumped 71.8% from the prior year to their highest December level in three years. Demand also increased for distillate, jet fuel and other oils.

Gasoline production set a new record for the month of December, up 1.8% from the previous year to average nearly 9.7 million bpd. At an all time high of over 5.2 million bpd, distillate production grew 2.2% over the same period.


US total imports in December 2014 reached their highest level in 2014, averaging nearly 9.7 million bpd. This was a 1.3% increase over the prior year but remained the third lowest December import levels since 1997. Meanwhile crude oil import were down by 1.6% from December 2013. Imports of refined products gained 14/3% over the same period to 2 million bpd but remained the second lowest import level for the month since 1999.


Refinery gross inputs were up by 1.9% from December 2013 to their highest level for the month at 16.7 million bpd while exports of refined petroleum products fell by 8.1%. The refinery capacity utilisation rate averaged 93.7% last month, up 2.3% from November and 1.8% higher than the same period last year. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.805 million bpd.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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