U.S. energy group mixed on 2012 markets

Jan. 21, 2013 at 7:43 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. energy trade group API said it saw a mixed bag for the nation's oil economy, as production surges but the overall economy drags on demand.

The American Petroleum Institute said petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, were down 2 percent in 2012 when compared to 2011. Year-on-year declines in deliveries were seen in every month last year except May.

For crude oil production, however, the U.S. market reached a 15-year high -- an average of 6.4 million barrels per day -- last year. API said the 13.8 percent increase in oil production, when compared to 2011, was the highest annual increase in more than 150 years.

API Chief Economist John Felmy said 2012 was a mixed year for the oil markets.

"The production bright spot reflects an industry investing and hiring at high rates, which significantly contributed to rising U.S. employment," he said in a statement. "Yet, demand was worse in 2012 than when the economy bottomed out in the recession."

In its monthly report for January, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it expected demand for its crude oil to fall in 2013 though world economic growth remains static.

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