Total US petroleum deliveries increased last month by 1.5% from January 2014 to average 19.2 million barrels per day (b/d) in January 2015 according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). This was the highest January demand since 2008.
“Demand for crude and most refined products remained up from where it was a year ago,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “We also saw continued strength in production of oil and natural gas. While rig counts have dropped, an impact on production was not felt.”
Gasoline demand in January gained 6.3% from the prior year to average 8.7 million b/d–also the highest January demand since 2008. Over the same period, deliveries of jet fuel and “other oils” increased by 2.8% and 1.7% respectively.
Crude oil production rose 15.4% from the prior year to average just below 9.2 million b/d. This was the highest output for any month since October 1973 and the highest January output since 1971. Natural gas liquids (NGL) production, a co-product of natural gas production, averaged above 3.1 million b/d, 18.7% higher than last year. This was the highest January NGL output on record.
According to the latest reports from Baker-Hughes, Inc., the average US rig count for January 2015 was 1683, down 199 from the 1882 counted in December 2014. Last month’s count was the lowest since November 2010. The decline was primarily due to drops in California and Texas.
US total imports in January reached their second lowest level since 1997, averaging 9.4 million b/d. This was a 1.6% increase from the prior year. Crude oil imports fell 1.5% from January 2014 to nearly 7.5 million b/d, the lowest level in nearly two decades. While refined product imports in January rose by 15.8% over the same period to 1.9 million b/d, this was the second lowest January imports level since 1998.
Refinery gross inputs gained 1.9% from January 2014 to average a new high for the month of 15.9 million barrels per day. Exports of refined petroleum products increased 8.1 percent during this period, averaging 4.3 million barrels per day. This was the highest January export level ever.
Gasoline and distillate production set new January records last month. Production of gasoline rose 4.3% from the prior year to average nearly 9.4 million b/d, while distillate production increased by 5.3% to nearly 4.9 million b/d.