US distillate inventories below year-ago levels
Sep 24, 2007 1:30 PM
United States distillate inventories began September at their highest level since January, but they remain more than eight percent below year-ago levels, according to information from the American Petroleum Institute (API).
”Refiners, who have already produced record amounts of distillate fuel oil so far this year have been ramping up production further in the past several months,” said Ron Planting, API’s manager of statistical information and analysis.
In its Monthly Statistical Report for August 2007, API noted that total stocks of distillate, including home heating oil, ended the month up nearly five-million barrels above end-July levels, but stood at their lowest August level since 2004.
High-sulfur distillate inventories rose in August by 11 percent, but stand more than 32 percent lower than year-ago levels due to new regulations that have boosted the use of lower-sulfur distillate. Low-sulfur distillate ended August at a record of nearly 92.1 million barrels.
Overall US oil demand, as expressed by total domestic petroleum deliveries, was down 2.2 percent compared with a year ago as a 1.0 percent gain in gasoline demand and a nearly three-percent rise in jet fuel use were offset by a more than two percent fall in distillate deliveries and a more than nine percent drop in residual fuel oil demand. Year-to-date oil demand is averaging less than one percent higher than for the same period last year.
United States refiners operated above 90 percent capacity in August and refined production continued at, or near, record levels. Gasoline production rose above 9.4 million barrels per day for the first time even while distillate output rose above 4.2 million barrels per day, the highest since the record 4.3 million barrels per day set in September 2006.
Total US crude production slipped to its lowest level since September 2006, averaging just over five-million barrels per day. Lower production in Alaska amid planned summer maintenance offset a modest increase in output from the lower 48 states.
Total petroleum imports in August averaged 13.8 million barrels per day, even with month-earlier levels, but down from year-ago record levels of 14.6 million barrels per day. While crude imports averaged above 10.5 million barrels per day, product imports fell 9.0 percent from July and averaged just 3.2 million barrels per day, the lowest August level since 2003 and 21 percent below year-ago levels.
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