Petroleum demand slides with production up

May 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Demand for gasoline rose 0.3 percent January through April of 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Demand slipped 0.3 percent for petroleum deliveries in April, compared to the same month in 2011. Gasoline deliveries, however, rose 0.9 percent to 8.8 million barrels per day, the API said.

Distillate fuel demand, which includes home heating oil, was up 1.3 percent, while jet fuel deliveries in April declined, the institute said.

"The mixed demand picture reflects an improving but relatively weak economy. Millions remain out of work. The most recent [Bureau of Labor Statistics] data showed job growth, but it was less than expected," said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

While demand rose, supplies of refined petroleum products "were ample," the report said. Gasoline production reached 9.129 million barrels per day in April, a record for that month and the highest 12-month increase on record. "U.S. refinery production outpaced domestic demand," the report said. Exports for refined petroleum products also climbed, gaining 1.7 percent over April 2011, the report said.

Domestic crude production also rose, climbing 6.6 percent in April to 10.4 million barrels per day on average. Canadian crude in the same period fell 4.3 percent to just under 2 million barrels per day.

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