API: US petroleum product demand hits 10-year September peak

US petroleum product demand averaged more than 20.2 million b/d in September, 2.4% more than a year earlier and the highest level for the month since 2007, the American Petroleum Institute reported.

US petroleum product demand averaged more than 20.2 million b/d in September, 2.4% more than a year earlier and the highest level for the month since 2007, the American Petroleum Institute reported.

Deliveries, which API uses to measure demand, rose 2.1% year-to-year to an average of 20.4 million b/d during this year’s third quarter, and climbed 1.2% in the first 9 months to an average of 19.9 million b/d from the comparable 2016 period, API said in its latest monthly statistical report.

“Strong petroleum demand is good news for the overall economy, which grew for the 100th consecutive month, and economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September,” said API Statistics Director Hazem Arafa.

September’s gasoline deliveries fell 0.8% from a year earlier to an average 9.4 million b/d, but still were the second-highest for the month on record, API said.

It said that the US Energy Information Administration reported that regular gasoline prices averaged $2.761/gal during the month, 27.6¢ more than in August and 43.4¢ higher than in September 2016. It also was the highest price for any month since July 2015 but remained the third-lowest for September since 2010, API said.

It said distillate fuel deliveries averaged more than 4 million b/d during the month, up 3.4% from a year earlier. They averaged more than 3.9 million b/d during the third quarter, up 3.7% from the same 2016 period, and more than 3.9 million b/d in 2017’s first 9 months, 2.3% higher than a year earlier.

Crude oil production, meanwhile, remained robust at an average of more than 9.5 million b/d during September, 2.3% more than in August and 11.3% higher than a year earlier. It also came in above 9 million b/d for the eighth consecutive month, API said.

“Domestic crude oil production was the highest September production in 47 years, since 1970, and was the highest production level for any month in 29 months, since April 2015,” API said. Crude production during 2017’s first 9 months averaged 9.1 million b/d, 2.9% more year-to-year and the second highest for the period in 44 years, since 1973, API said.

“Declines in the production of gasoline, distillate fuel, and kerosene-jet fuel in September were impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” API said, adding, “Production of gasoline decreased from the prior month, the prior year, the prior quarter, and the prior year-to-date to average 9.7 million b/d in September.”

Compared with the prior month and the prior year, refiners’ gasoline production decreased 4% and 3.2%, respectively. For 2017’s third quarter and year-to-date, gasoline production was down year-to-year by 1.8% for both periods. “Gasoline production in September, however, remained the third highest production that month on record,” API said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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