US gasoline production jumped to 9.1 million bpd for April 2010, the highest April level ever and second highest gasoline production level for any month on record behind only March 2010, according to API’s Monthly Statistical Report.
The facts and figures
The average US refinery utilisation rate for April climbed above 85% for the first time this year, at 85.5%, up from March’s 82%, the report said. The April 2009 refinery utilisation rate was 82.5%. April US motor gasoline demand, measured as deliveries, increased 2.2% over the last year from 8.9 million bpd to 9.1 million bpd.
‘US refiners are meeting the gasoline demands of American consumers,’ noted API Chief Economist John Felmy. ‘We are seeing that in production statistics, in refinery utilisation rates and in motor gasoline inventories.’
US distillate deliveries, which historically show a strong correlation with economic activity, reversed recent declines by surging 6.7% in April over year ago levels. Distillate deliveries had declined 29 out of the previous 30 months, dating back to October 2007. Low sulfur distillate deliveries, the fuel primarily used for highway transportation, increased in April by 3%. That increase marked only the third monthly increase in low sulfur deliveries since June 2008. With total US petroleum deliveries of 19 million /bbls. April 2010 showed the second lowest April deliveries since April 2000, with only April 2009 lower.
Domestic crude oil production in April slipped 0.4% from March 2010 levels, but continued near fiver year highs at 5.5 million bpd, up 4.2% from April 2009. Lower 48 crude oil production jumped by 6.8% to 4.86 million bpd, while Alaskan output rose 0.2% to 654 000 bpd. Natural gas liquids production of 1.94 million bpd was up 4.8% from last April and up by 2.4% from march of this year.