U.S. Oil Imports Fell to 19-Year Low for July, API Says

U.S. imports of crude and fuel in July dropped to the lowest level for the month in 19 years as domestic production rose, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Imports slid to 9.06 million barrels a day, the least for July since 1995, the industry-funded group said today in a monthly report. Domestic crude-oil production rose to the highest July level since 1986, staying above 8 million barrels a day for a sixth month.

“Last month generated new records for many of the petroleum statistics we track,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in the report. “Imports of crude oil and refined products set multidecade lows for the month.”

Total imports dropped 12 percent from a year earlier, the API said. Imports of crude oil decreased 7.2 percent from 2013 to average 7.49 million barrels a day, also the lowest July level in 19 years.

Crude production jumped 14 percent from 2013 to 8.5 million barrels a day. Output has surged as a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies trapped in shale formations, including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.

Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of consumption, climbed 1.3 percent from a year earlier to 19.3 million barrels a day. It was the highest level for the month in four years. Gasoline demand increased 1 percent to 9.15 million.

Distillate Demand

Demand for distillate fuel, which includes diesel and heating oil, climbed 6.6 percent to 3.81 million, the highest July level since 2007. Jet fuel consumption rose 3.3 percent to 1.57 million.

Deliveries of residual oil, used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion, dropped 49 percent to 183,000 barrels a day.

U.S. refinery input reached 16.6 million barrels last month, the highest July level, the API said. Production of gasoline advanced 6.6 percent to 9.93 million barrels a day and output of distillates rose 1.5 percent to 5 million. Both were record levels for the month.

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