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WASHINGTON – Record gasoline supplies were delivered to U.S. consumers for the first six months of 2007, API said today. Major-product output overall also reached an historical high.
“The industry pulled out the stops to meet unprecedented consumer demand,” said API chief economist John Felmy, noting that deliveries for distillate fuel oil, including diesel fuel, also set a record. Deliveries increased for residual fuel oil and jet fuel.
January-through-June gasoline deliveries – a measure of demand – were more than 9.2 million barrels a day, according to API’s Monthly Statistical Report. Record gasoline production of 8.9 million barrels a day and strongly recovering imports of gasoline in the second quarter contributed to the record supplies. June gasoline production achieved an all-time monthly high of 9.3 million barrels per day. Sluggish imports in the first quarter of 2007 had contributed to supply tightness and the rise in gasoline prices that peaked in May.
“The continued, long-term expansion of existing refineries was a key reason the industry managed to produce record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel, even with difficulties at some refineries,” said API statistics manager Ron Planting.
Gasoline inventories strengthened in May, in part a function of higher prices and weakening demand. However, as prices declined in June, demand rose and inventories declined. In June, total motor gasoline inventories (including blending components) had fallen 6.6 million barrels compared with May. In contrast, crude oil inventories ended June at their highest level for any month in over nine years, topping 350 million barrels at month’s end.
First-half imports of crude oil and products held nearly steady compared with a year earlier, with a 2.4 percent, year-to-year decline for product imports more than offsetting a slight increase for imported crude.
U.S. crude oil production for the first-half of 2007 was up about 1.3 percent over the same period in 2006, but offshore production then was recovering from the effects of the 2005 hurricanes. First-half Alaskan crude oil production fell 5.2 percent against last year.