Fuel production maintains fast pace
Dec 21, 2007 11:38 AM
United States fuel production for the year to date maintained its record-breaking pace in November despite relatively stagnant demand for refined products, as measured by deliveries from primary storage, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API).
In its monthly report covering November 2007, API noted that US crude oil production rose to 5.16 million barrels a day, the highest level since May and up one percent from year-ago levels.
“The industry’s investments in new capacity and improved technologies have enabled it to produce these record amounts of fuels for consumers,” said Ron Planting, API’s manager of statistical information and analysis.
Year-to-date gasoline output was at an all-time high of 8.96 million barrels per day though November’s production was down 0.3 percent from November 2006. Distillate production was also at a year-to-date record high at the end of the month and November production of diesel, home heating oil, and other distillate was at its second highest level ever for any month, up 5.3 percent over year-ago levels.
Refinery activity in the month was at its highest November level in three years as total inputs to crude distillation units reached passed 15.3 million barrels a day. Capacity utilization averaged 88.1 percent, up slightly from a year-ago, though year-to-date utilization lags behind 2006 levels.
According to API data provided by refiners, blenders, importers, pipelines, and terminal operators, total stocks of gasoline rose by more than nine million barrels in the month, but remained slightly below year-ago levels. Inventories of distillate, including diesel and home heating oil, slipped 1.5 million barrels in November and ended the month four percent under year-ago levels. Crude oil inventories fell to their lowest month-end level since February 2005, but remained slightly above the five-year average for November.
US oil demand, as expressed by total domestic petroleum deliveries, rose a slight 0.4 percent above November 2006 levels, breaking a five-month string of year-to-year declines, but year-to-date deliveries were stagnant.
Total oil imports hovered near their lowest levels since February, averaging 13.2 million barrels per day as crude oil imports rose while refined product imports declined.
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