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U.S. Fuel Consumption Edged Higher in May, API Says

U.S. gasoline, diesel, heating oil and jet-fuel consumption edged higher in May, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Deliveries of gasoline, a measure of usage, rose 0.4 percent to 8.82 million barrels a day last month from May 2011, the industry-funded group said today in a report. Demand for total petroleum products increased 0.5 percent to 18.5 million barrels a day in May.

“Despite the positive movement, fuel demand is still not strong,” John Felmy, chief economist with the Washington-based API, said in the report. “Weak growth in the U.S., stubborn unemployment and a world economy doing little better than treading water are contributing to this. Gradually improving vehicle fuel efficiency may also be a factor.”

Consumption of distillate fuel, the category that includes heating oil and diesel, rose 2 percent to 3.73 million barrels a day last month. Use of ultra-low sulfur diesel, the type used on highways, climbed 1.6 percent to average 3.42 million barrels a day. Heating-oil demand gained 9.3 percent to 301,000 barrels a day in May, compared with the same month in 2011.

Jet fuel consumption climbed 1.4 percent to 1.45 million barrels a day last month, according to the API.

Consumption of residual fuels tumbled 20 percent to 381,000 barrels a day last month, the report showed. Residual fuel is used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion.

U.S. crude-oil production increased 8.5 percent to 6.13 million barrels a day in May. Output in the lower 48 states rose 10 percent to 5.56 million barrels a day. Alaskan production slipped 5 percent to 571,000 barrels a day.

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