US fuel production reaches high in 2007
Jan 18, 2008 9:52 AM
United States fuel production reached a record high in 2007 as refinery capacity expanded for the 11th straight year, according to information from the American Petroleum Institute (API).
US crude oil production also rose in 2007, the first annual increase since 1991. The API statistics also showed that US oil demand was flat in 2007, the third straight year of stagnant or lower oil demand in the world’s largest oil-consuming nation.
“While much of the increase in crude oil production represents a recovery from 2006’s depressed levels, our latest drilling figures show tremendous industry efforts to develop additional supplies from those regions that are open to exploration,” said Ron Planting, manager, information and analysis, for API.
Given the higher domestic production and flat demand, total oil imports fell 1.9 percent from year-ago levels, though imports still cover about 65 percent of US oil demand.
Total U.S. petroleum deliveries, a proxy for demand, averaged 20.7 million barrels per day, the same level seen in 2006, following a decline of 0.6 percent in that year. In the fourth quarter alone, deliveries slumped 0.4 percent.
Despite a one percent year-on-year increase in the first quarter, gasoline demand was lagging about half a percent below 2006 levels by the fourth quarter. On the other hand, distillate fuel oil demand rose 1.5 percent in the year amid rising diesel demand and higher home heating demand.
The demand data includes an increase in the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline, which averaged more than 400,000 barrels per day. Excluding ethanol, which accounted for nearly five percent of all gasoline sales during the year, total domestic oil deliveries in 2007 actually fell half a percent. An estimated 6.7 billon gallons of fuel ethanol were used by refiners in 2007, some two billion gallons more than the 4.7 billion gallons required by law but more than two billion gallons less than the recently-passed requirement for 2008.
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