WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The American Petroleum Institute said the United States imported less crude oil in January than at any time since the late 1990s.
The API said crude oil imports of 7.5 million barrels per day marked a 5.2 percent decline year-on-year and the lowest level in 17 years.
The organization attributed the decline to higher domestic crude oil production.
"Domestic crude oil production remains strong," API Chief Economist John Felmy said in a statement Thursday.
The API said January crude oil production of approximately 9.1 million bpd was the highest for any January since 1988.
The amount of crude oil in the nation's inventory last month was 361.1 million barrels, a 4.4 percent drop from January 2013.
Demand for gasoline increased 1.1 percent in January when compared with last year but was down 5.2 percent from December.
Felmy said the extreme winter weather this season created a higher demand for petroleum products used for heating.