Fuel/residual oils, ULSD output on rise in April
May 29, 2007 3:00 PM
The US production of distillate fuel oil and residual fuel oil rose in April, and ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) output reached a new monthly record high of 2.78 million barrels per day, to make up more than 82 percent of all low-sulfur distillate production, according to the American Petroleum Institute's (API's) Monthly Statistical Report.
Distillate deliveries, including both diesel and heating oil, were up a strong 5.6 percent, and residual fuel oil deliveries jumped more than 17 percent from a year ago.
Gasoline production in April in the United States was four percent above year-ago levels as the nationís refiners continue to squeeze more gasoline out of a barrel of crude than ever before, according to API. Gasoline production during the first four months of 2007 averaged 8.73 million barrels per day, the highest ever for the January-April period.
United States refined product demand, as measured by deliveries, was up 1.7 percent in April despite sluggish gasoline demand growth. Amid higher retail prices, gasoline deliveries for the month rose only 0.2 percent from a year earlier.
Domestic refineries boosted production as spring maintenance work and the annual switch to summer-blend fuels neared completion. Total inputs to crude distillation units, an overall measure of refinery activity rose above 15 million barrels per day for the first time in three months. Refinery utilization rose to 88.1 percent in April compared with 86.5 percent in March.
API said that despite a rise in domestic gasoline production and a month-on-month increase in gasoline imports in April, gasoline inventories, including blending components, fell below 200 million barrels for the first time in 19 months. At the end of April, gasoline inventories stood at 198.8 million barrels, down 1.1 percent from March and 4.2 percent below April 2006.
Crude inventories rose 2.6 percent over March levels to end April at nearly 345 million barrels, their highest level in a year. The rise in crude inventories in April was boosted by a spate of unexpected shutdowns at various domestic refineries.
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