Petroleum deliveries fall in August
Sep 18, 2008 2:33 PM
Petroleum deliveries in August fell more from the previous year than at any other time in a year-to-year decline since 1982, according to a monthly report from the American Petroleum Institute (API).
August's weak domestic petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) continued the pattern of recent past months, falling three percent compared with a year ago. The year-to-date average declined four percent, according to the report.
“The weaker demand observed for the first six months of the year continued in July (and August),” Ron Planting, API statistics manager, stated in a news release. “Changes in consumer behavior have essentially erased five years of growth in gasoline demand.”
According to the API monthly report, with higher prices than in recent past years, combined with a sluggish economy, overall petroleum deliveries for August averaged just 20.4 million barrels per day. That was down nearly six percent from the peak for any August reached in 2005 of 21.7 million barrels per day.
Gasoline deliveries fell 2.2 percent for the month compared with a year ago, and 2.3 percent for the year to date. Distillate deliveries, including diesel fuel and heating oil, declined 1.9 percent from one year earlier. Jet fuel and residual fuel oil also experienced declines.
Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, precautions against two tropical storms disrupted crude oil and natural gas production, and in Alaska, shut-downs and maintenance reduced that state's crude oil output for August to the lowest since July 1977, the first full month of operation of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System. US crude oil production for August averaged 4.87 million barrels per day, down 1.0 percent from a year earlier.
Total petroleum imports fell nearly five percent from a year ago in August, the combined effect of a two percent drop for crude oil imports and a nearly 14 percent decline for products. Gasoline imports, however, rose slightly to over 1.1 million barrels per day. August's imports of crude oil and products, at under 13 million barrels per day, were the lowest for August since 2003.
At refineries, precautions against Hurricane Gustav slowed refinery activity at month-end, and refinery inputs for the month averaged 4.1 percent below a year ago. Nevertheless, industry production of distillate fuel oil (including diesel fuel) rose seven percent from a year ago, and jet fuel production rose more than nine percent. Gasoline output was the highest so far this year, but declined 1.5 percent from a year ago.
Crude oil inventories rose for the second month in a row in August, reaching 302.5 million barrels, or about 5.6 percent below year-ago levels. Gasoline inventories fell a slightly-more-than seasonal 10 million barrels from July, but ended the month two percent above year-ago levels. Distillate inventories climbed for the fourth month in a row, roughly in line with the seasonal build from April through August of about 25 million barrels. They ended the month 2.7 percent below a year ago, according to the report.
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