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Petroleum demand up, approaches 20 million barrels a day

WASHINGTON - At 19.9 million barrels per day, total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose 2.5 percent in September compared with September a year ago.  While motor gasoline demand was up only slightly by 0.3 percent, distillate demand reached a record for the month.  On a year-to-date basis, gasoline demand was 1.3 percent down from 2010.  Deliveries of jet fuel were at a four-year high for the month.

"The edging up of gasoline demand is consistent with the slightly improving consumer confidence numbers we've seen," said API chief economist John Felmy.

"The more robust growth in distillate demand reflects somewhat better news in the manufacturing and industrial sectors of our economy."

U.S. refinery gasoline production was up by 3.0 percent from September 2010 and was at a record high on a year-to-date basis.  Refinery inputs remained over 15 million barrels per day for the fourth month in a row, although slipping from the month before partly due to the effects of Tropical Storm Lee.  Total petroleum imports were down for the month of September from last year by 9.9 percent.  Crude imports fell by 2.3 percent while product imports fell by 37.0 percent.  Canadian imports of crude oil showed a 9.9 percent jump from last year. 

Crude oil production continued to exhibit weakness in September over September a year ago.  However, on a year-to-date basis, production was up by 1.2 percent.  Crude production in the lower 48 states in September was down while Alaska production increased.  According to Baker Hughes Inc., oil and gas rigs jumped by 21 to 1978 in September, a three-year high for the month.

For the fourth time this year, crude oil stocks showed year over year declines as crude imports fell compared with the prior year.  However, with the exception of last year, crude oil stocks were at their highest level for any September since 1983.  Motor gasoline stocks also fell in September versus September a year ago, although they increased from August levels.

API represents more than 480 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.              
 

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