The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

December Petroleum Up Slightly

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted January 15, 2010

API announced this morning that total petroleum deliveries (a measure of oil demand) climbed by 0.6 percent in December over the same period in 2008. The slight increase could be attributed to an improving economy as well as higher demand caused by the abnormally cold weather.

According to API's Monthly Statistical Report, December deliveries averaged 19 million barrels a day, which was an increase over the average of 18.7 million barrels a day for the full year. Gasoline deliveries were up 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 over the same quarter in 2008.

John Felmy, API's chief economist and statistics manager, said, "Clearly, petroleum demand is mirroring the economic recovery." But John also noted that deliveries of Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel, the type used in cars and trucks for on-highway driving, were down 11 percent December as compared with December 2008.

One bright spot in API's statistics today involved U.S. oil production. In 2009, U.S. crude oil production was up 7 percent over the prior year, averaging 5.3 million barrels per day.