API says gasoline demand surged in July on lower prices

The American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday that US gasoline demand jumped 2.3% in July to 8.839 million b/d, likely a response to prices 20¢/gal lower than the month before. It said July's gasoline price decline was the biggest monthly drop since the spring of 1986.


By the OGJ Online Staff

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 15 -- The American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday that US gasoline demand jumped 2.3% in July to 8.839 million b/d, likely a response to prices 20¢/gal lower than the month before.

It said July's gasoline price decline was the biggest monthly drop since the spring of 1986. Compared to July 2000, the average retail price of regular gasoline dropped more than 12%, the largest year-to-year decline in more than 2 years.

Gasoline stocks were 211 million bbl at the end of July, 0.7% higher than a year ago and 4.3% less than at the end of June.

Total July petroleum product deliveries, a key measure of consumer demand, is up 1.2% since January and 0.4% compared to July last year, API said.

There was a sharp increase in distillate deliveries, used for diesel fuel and home heating. Shipments were 3.592 million b/d, a 6.6% increase over July 2000. API said the large increase, unusual in mid-summer, was partially due to electric utilities burning distillate to meet demand surges caused by weather that was 7% warmer than a year ago.

US crude production was 5.818 million b/d, up 1.4% from July 2000, and the sharpest jump since January. Alaska's production grew 5.5% compared to a year ago, the strongest growth rate in 10 years. The new Alpine field on the North Slope accounted for 10% of Alaska's 963,000 b/d output in July. Natural gas liquids production in July fell 3.7% to 1.862 million b/d.

Crude oil and refined product inventories increased to 1.022 billion bbl, 5.4% higher than a year ago. Distillate stocks were 122.6 million bbl, their highest level in 18 months and 8.7% higher than in July 2000.

Crude oil stocks finished July at 309.4 million bbl, a 9.6% increase compared to a year ago, but down a modest 400,000 bbl since June.

API said July kerosine jet fuel deliveries were down 1% at 1.761 million b/d. Resid deliveries plunged 14.9% to 928,000 b/d but were 15.6% higher in the first 7 months vs. the same period last year.

Crude oil imports fell 3.5% to 9.053 million b/d. Gasoline and blending stocks imports were up 5.9% at 628,000 b/d.

Petroleum inputs to refineries, mostly crude, were 15.734 million b/d in July, 1.5% less than a year ago. The utilization rate of US refineries fell to 94.6% last month, vs. 96.8% in July 2000.

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