U.S. fuel consumption slipped in August as crude-oil production surged to the highest level for the month in 25 years, the American Petroleum Institute said.
Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, slipped 0.7 percent from a year earlier to 19.1 million barrels a day, the industry-funded group said today. It was the lowest level for August since 2009. Year-to-date consumption has averaged 18.7 million barrels a day, up 0.4 percent from 2012.
Demand for gasoline dipped 0.9 percent to 9.05 million barrels a day last month, the report showed. Consumption of jet fuel slipped 0.3 percent from a year earlier to 1.46 million barrels a day in August. Demand for residual oil, used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion, dropped 3.8 percent to 340,000 barrels a day.
“August saw a continuation of trends that have been building for quite some time,” John Felmy, chief economist with the Washington-based API, said in the report. “The incredible rise in American energy production, helped in part by softening demand, has allowed the United States to dramatically increase energy exports and reduce its energy imports.”
Consumption of distillate fuel, the category that includes diesel and heating oil, gained last month. Diesel demand rose 3 percent to 3.66 million barrels a day in August while ultra-low-sulfur diesel use climbed 2.2 percent to 3.63 million. Heating oil use declined 11 percent to 164,000 barrels a day.
U.S. crude-oil production increased 20 percent to 7.59 million barrels a day. A combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies in shale formations in North Dakota, Texas and other states.
Production of natural gas liquids, which are a byproduct of gas drilling, surged 6 percent to 2.51 million barrels a day last month, a record for August and the third-highest monthly level ever, according to the report.
Total oil and fuel imports dropped 10 percent in August to 9.81 million barrels a day, an 18-year low for the month, the API said. Fuel exports climbed 16 percent to 3.5 million barrels a day, the highest August level ever and 42,000 barrels short of June’s record, according to the report.
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