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U.S. Fuel Demand Highest for May in Six Years, API Says

U.S. fuel consumption in May increased to the highest level for the month since 2008 as the economy grew, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, climbed 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 18.9 million barrels a day last month, the industry-funded group said today. Demand increased for gasoline, distillate fuel and jet fuel.

“Demand has turned around and at the same time you’ve seen record production of gasoline and distillate,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said by phone.

Gasoline consumption increased 3.6 percent to 9.3 million barrels a day. Demand for distillate fuel, which includes diesel and heating oil, surged 5.2 percent to 3.97 million. Both were the highest May levels since 2007.

Jet fuel consumption rose 0.6 percent to 1.42 million barrels a day. Demand for residual oil, used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion, dropped 14 percent to 186,000 barrels a day, a record low.

U.S. crude oil output increased 15 percent to 8.33 million barrels a day, the highest for May since 1987. Output of natural gas liquids, a byproduct of gas drilling, climbed 9.3 percent to 2.71 million.

“We’re seeing a real renaissance in U.S. oil,” Felmy said.

Production of gasoline topped 10 million barrels a day for the first time last month, advancing 11 percent to 10.3 million. Output of distillate fuel rose 5 percent to 5 million, a record for the month of May. Distillate production in 2014 has averaged 4.8 million, an all-time record.

Fuel exports rose 11 percent to 3.84 million barrels a day, the highest level ever for the month. Total oil and fuel imports dropped 4.5 percent to 9.6 million, the lowest May in 19 years.

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