WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 – While total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) slipped 0.3 percent in April compared with April 2011, gasoline deliveries were up 0.9 percent to 8.8 million barrels per day. For the first four months of 2012, gasoline demand was up 0.3 percent compared with the same period a year ago. April distillate demand was up 1.3 percent. April jet fuel and residual fuel deliveries declined.
“The mixed demand picture reflects an improving but relatively weak economy,” said API chief economist John Felmy. “Millions remain out of work. The most recent BLS data showed job growth, but it was less than expected.”
Supplies of refined products were ample, with U.S. gasoline production of 9.129 million barrels per day setting a record for any April and for any comparable year-to-date period. Distillate fuel production at 4.27 million barrels per day was the second highest for any April and also a year-to-date record. Refinery utilization was the same this April as a year ago. Total refinery inputs were up very slightly in April over last year.
U.S. refinery production outpaced domestic demand for petroleum products. Exports of refined products increased 1.7 percent over the previous April.
Imports of crude oil and refined products fell in April by 9.2 percent to average 10.4 million barrels per day. Canadian crude imports decreased by 4.3 percent, falling just below two million barrels per day.
Domestic crude oil production rose by 6.6 percent in April to average 5.963 million barrels per day. Rising North Dakota production in March set a record at 551 thousand barrels per day.
The number of oil and gas rigs increased from 1,979 in March to 2,119 in April, according to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes Inc.
In April, crude oil stocks at 374.8 million barrels were up 1.5 percent from last year and up 3.8 percent from March levels. Gasoline stocks were up 2.6 percent from April 2011 but down 5.4 percent from March of this year.
API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.