API: US petroleum demand highest for February since 2008

Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, moved up 0.1% in February compared with a year ago to average 19.7 million b/d, marking the highest February deliveries since 2008, according to the latest report from the American Petroleum Institute.

Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, moved up 0.1% in February compared with a year ago to average 19.7 million b/d, marking the highest February deliveries since 2008, according to the latest report from the American Petroleum Institute.

Total petroleum deliveries also increased in February compared with the month before, rising 2.2%. For year-to-date, total US petroleum deliveries increased 0.7% compared with the same period last year, API said.

The overall US economy showed gains for the second time in the year, adding 235,000 jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate changed little at 4.7% in February.

Gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer gasoline demand, were up in February vs. the previous month, but down from the prior year as well as the prior year-to-date. Total motor gasoline deliveries decreased 3.8% from February 2016 to average 8.9 million b/d—the second highest February demand in 9 years.

“Crude oil production broke the 9 million-b/d threshold for the first time since March 2016. This increase in production combined with more widespread jobs gains is good news for the economy, which appears to be moving in the right direction,” said API Chief Economist Erica Bowman.

Crude oil production increased 0.7% in February vs. January, but was down 1.3% from February 2016 to average just above 9 million b/d in February. This was the highest crude oil production for any month since March 2016. Production of natural gas liquids fell 2.7% in February vs. January but was up 2.9% from February 2016 to average 3.4 million b/d.

US total petroleum imports in February averaged nearly 10.4 million b/d, down 2.7% from the prior month, but up 3.6% from the prior year. These were the highest February imports in 5 years. For year-to-date, total petroleum imports were also higher, up by 6.7% compared with year-to-date 2016.

Crude oil imports increased 2.8% to 8.1 million b/d in February compared with the same month last year. Compared with January, crude oil imports in February were 2% lower. Refined product imports in February increased 6.6% from the prior year to just below 2.3 million b/d, but were down 5.2% from the prior month.

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