API: US oil production reaches 25-year August high

US crude oil production reached a 25-year high for August of nearly 7.6 million b/d, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s monthly statistics for August.

Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, slipped 0.7% from August 2012 to 19.1 million b/d last month, recording the highest deliveries for the year and the lowest August level in 4 years, API reported.

The number of oil and gas rigs in the US in August, according to Baker Hughes Inc., was 1,781, up from 1,766 last month, API said.

“August saw a continuation of trends that have been building for quite some time,” said John Felmy, API chief economist. “The incredible rise in American energy production, helped in part by softening demand, has allowed the US to dramatically increase energy exports and reduce its energy imports.”

Demand for gasoline was up 0.4% from the previous month to 9.1 million b/d, marking a high point for the year but the third-lowest August level in 13 years, API said. The distillate delivery increased by 2.3% from a year ago, while demand for “other oils” trended downward 1.4% over the same period, including a 3.8% decline of residual fuel and a 0.3% decline of jet fuel.

Refinery gross inputs increased 4.2% from last year to 16.3 million b/d, reaching a 9-year August high. Exports of refined petroleum products averaged 3.5 million b/d, up 2.6% from July and 16.1% from a year ago.

Gasoline production in August was 9.2 million b/d, down 0.8% from July but up 1.6% from last August. Production of distillate fuel rose 9.6% from a year earlier to an August record of 5.04 million b/d.

Crude oil stocks ended the month at 361.6 million bbl, the second-highest August level in 23 years, according to API. Motor gasoline stocks ended at 218.1 million bbl and distillate fuel oil stocks ended at 129.5 million bbl.

Total US imports averaged just over 9.8 million b/d, hitting an 18-year August low on a 10% drop from the previous year. Imports of crude oil and refined products both decreased from year-ago levels.

The refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 91.3% in August. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.8 million b/d, up 3.6% from last year’s capacity of 17.2 million b/d.

Contact Conglin Xu at conglinx@ogjonline.com.

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