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April petroleum demand up despite weak gasoline deliveries

Oilfield Technology,

Total US petroleum deliveries were up 0.3% on last year, averaging 18.4 million bpd. However, recorded figures were still the second lowest for April in 17 years. Gasoline demand fell 3.9% over the same period, to its lowest April level since 2000.

American Petroleum Institute (API) Chief Economist, John Felmy, has said that increased petroleum demand reflects improved consumer confidence. Demand averaged 8.5 million bpd for the month, while distillate deliveries were up 1.4%, at 3.8 million bpd. Kerosine jet fuel demand was down 1.8%, and residual fuel oil demand was down by 22.8%. Demand for ‘other oils’ (including liquid petroleum feedstocks, naptha, and gasoil) was up 12.5% on April last year. 

Production of all major refined products was higher than deliveries in April, so products were exported, increasing by 1% since March. Gasoline production rose 2.2% from March, and 1.3% from April 2012, to reach its third highest April output ever at 8.9 million bpd. Production of distillate fuel and jet fuel also increased, with distillate fuel production reaching its highest April level ever at 4.5 million bpd. Total US crude oil production was at a 21 year high of 7.3 million bpd, 15.9% higher than April 2012.

April crude stocks ended at 388.9 million bbl, the highest inventory level for the month since 1981. Motor gasoline stocks were down by 1.4% on March, but up 3.6% from April 2012, reaching 218 million bbl. Distillate ended at a five year low, down 7.1% to 115.7 million bbl from last year.

Total imports fell 6.4% since April last year. Crude oil imports in April were at their lowest in 16 years, falling to 8 million bpd, a decrease of 6.7%. Refined product imports were down 5%, averaging 1.9 million bpd.

Refinery utilisation rate averaged 86.5% for April 2013, down 0.1% on last year, but up 2.6% on March 2012. The API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.820 million bpd, up from 17.718 million bpd in March.

Adapted from pressrelease by Emma McAleavey.

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