Total US petroleum deliveries increased 6.5% in November compared with November 2009, evidence the nation’s consumer and industrial sectors are recovering, according to API’s Monthly Statistical Report. The step up in fuel demand represented the largest year to year increase for any month in 2010.
Gasoline deliveries rose 3.2% this November from a year ago while distillate fuel deliveries jumped 13.5%. Ultra low sulfur distillate deliveries, the diesel used in trucks, were up 13.2%. Jet fuel deliveries experienced a robust 16.7% increase.
‘Fuel demand continues to strengthen, a positive sign for our economy. Gasoline deliveries are up three months in a row and distillate deliveries are up 10 months in a row over the same months in 2009,’ said API chief economist John Felmy. ‘Stronger fuel demand tells us a recovery is underway.’
Domestic crude oil production stood at 5.44 million bpd in November up slightly from last year, down 1.3% from October, but the highest total for any November since 2003. Rig counts rose to their higher level for the year at 1683, according to Baker Hughes Inc.
November’s 10.9 million bpd of crude oil and product imports were lower than November a year ago by 1.1%, driven by double digit declines in product imports. Crude oil imports were 5% higher than a year ago, averaging 9.1 million bpd. While the highest total for any November since 1987, domestic crude oil inventories were lower than last month. November gasoline stocks were down 3% and distillate stocks were 3.8% lower compared with October.
Refinery utilisation reached 83.2% of capacity in November, higher than this past October and November 2009. The rate was 15 percentage points above the average utilisation for all US manufacturing, according to Federal Reserve Board data.