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API: Production and refining activity strong in October

The American Petroleum Institute released data on October petroleum deliveries, gasoline demand, refining activity and production.
API: Production and refining activity strong in October

Total US petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) edged down last month by 0.2% from October 2013 to average 19.3 million barrels per day (b/d). 

“Production and refining activity were both quite strong in October,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “While total demand saw a small drop-off from last year, transportation fuels like gasoline and jet fuel hit recent highs for the month.” 

Gasoline demand grew 0.3% from October 2013 to average just below 9 million b/d – the highest level for the month since 2010. Deliveries also rose over the same period for jet fuel (1.5%) and “other oils” (4.6%) but fell for distillate (6.2%) and residual fuel (11.2%). At nearly 1.5 million b/d, October deliveries of jet fuel reached the highest level in seven years. 

Crude production last month averaged nearly 9 million b/d, up 17.0 percent from last year to the highest October output in over four decades. Record oil production occurred in the Bakken, the Eagle Ford, and the Permian regions last month, and the Marcellus region achieved record natural gas production, per the latest EIA Drilling Productivity Report. 

Natural gas liquids (NGL) production, a co-product of natural gas production, averaged just above 3.1 million b/d, a 13% increase from the prior year. According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the number of oil and gas rigs in the US in last month was 1,925 – up 181 counts from October 2013. 

Total petroleum imports fell by 5.3% from the prior year to average 9.1 million b/d last month while imports of refined products fell 29.4% to 1.5 million b/d. Both figures represent 19-year lows for October. Imports of crude oil increased by 1.6% from October 2013 to average 7.6 million b/d but were still the second lowest level for the month in 18 years. 

Production of gasoline in October grew by 0.4% from the prior year to set a new record for the month of 9.5 million b/d. For distillate, production slowed by 3.7% from last year to 4.6 million b/d. Year to date production for gasoline and distillate both reached all-time records last month. 

October records were set in refinery gross inputs and exports of refined products. Gross inputs grew 2.2% from last year to average 15.8 million b/d, while exports were up 8.4% to average just over 4.4 million b/d. 

With a number of refineries on turnaround, the refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 88.8% in October. This was a 2.9% drop from September but up 2% from last October and the highest rate for the month in 10 years. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.805 million b/d. 

Crude oil stocks ended October at 374.3 million barrels, down 1.9% from the last year, and stocks of motor gasoline fell to 204.1 million barrels on a 4.6% decline. Jet fuel stocks also fell compared to the prior year while distillate and “other oils” stocks increased. 

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