Petroleum deliveries continue sliding
Nov 20, 2008 9:36 AM
Total US petroleum deliveries, which dropped more than four percent in October, have fallen 5 percent from January through October, a rate not seen since the early 1980s, according to information from the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Total domestic deliveries, a measure of demand, averaged just 19.6 million barrels per day in the January-to-October period, the lowest since 2000, according to API data.
"Not only have higher prices for much of 2008 been altering consumers’ behavior, but more recent economic uncertainties have increasingly been putting a damper on demand, as well," said API statistics manager Ron Planting. According to API’s Monthly Statistical Report, all major petroleum products--gasoline, distillate, jet fuel, and residual fuel oil--have shared in this year's sluggish deliveries.
January-to-October declines ranged from 2.6 percent for gasoline to nearly 19 percent for residual fuel oil.
Both the upstream and downstream segments showed strong recovery from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in October. More than half the production sent offline in September by the hurricanes resumed in October. Still, production from the lower 48 states was 7.2 percent lower than a year earlier at four million barrels per day.
Despite an increase in Alaska production, overall US crude oil production fell 5.1 percent from a year ago.
According to government estimates, more than half a million barrels per day of crude oil production was still shut in during October, as well as nearly three billion cubic feet of natural gas production.
Refinery activity also gained ground in October, with input to distillation units jumping by more than 14 percent from September to 14.9 million barrels per day, as all refineries that had been shut down as a result of the storms returned to full operation during the month.
Imports also rebounded. In September, in the wake of hurricane-related refinery and port closures, imports plunged to their lowest level in four years.
In October, imports recovered, jumping 5.8 percent from a year ago, to 13.7 million barrels per day, the highest level since July 2007. Gasoline imports alone were up nearly 25 percent from a year ago, reaching 1.35 million barrels per day, the second-highest level ever for the month, after October 2005’s import surge following Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita.
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