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EIA: Estimated US 2012 gasoline consumption low compared to five-year average

13 August 2012

US gasoline consumption in the first quarter of 2012, which averaged about 8.5 million barrels per day (bbl/d), was down 124 thousand bbl/d compared with the same time last year, continuing the trend of lower consumption and higher prices, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

However, EIA noted, the second quarter of 2012 shows some signs of higher consumption. Gasoline prices since the beginning of May 2012 were lower than the same time last year, and gasoline consumption showed some very modest gains in April and May.

Gasconsumption
Click to enlarge.

US gasoline consumption peaked in 2007 at 9.3 million bbl/d and fell by an average of 3.2% (300 thousand bbl/d) in 2008 due to the recession and high gasoline prices, which topped $4 per gallon in June and July 2008. Gasoline prices fell in late 2008 and remained below $3 per gallon through 2009 and 2010, but gasoline consumption remained flat, increasing by just 0.1% in 2009 and falling slightly in 2010.

Regular-grade gasoline prices rose in early 2011; in response to higher prices, households again cut back on highway travel, and gasoline consumption fell by 2.9% (260 thousand bbl/d) in 2011 from the year before.

Along with prices, current economic conditions and vehicle fleet efficiency have also affected gasoline consumption. The amount of highway travel, and thus motor gasoline consumption, is generally linked to economic conditions. Real Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of 2012 was 2.4% higher than it was in the same period a year earlier, and preliminary data indicate that the growth rate was slightly lower during the second quarter, at 2.2%. However, Real Personal Disposable Income, which also affects gasoline consumption, has been growing at a much lower rate in 2012, namely 0.1% during the first quarter, with preliminary data for the second quarter indicating a growth rate of 1.3%.

This helps explain why gasoline consumption was relatively low during the first

three months of 2012, but may be showing some slight growth in the second quarter compared to data from a year earlier, EIA said. Another factor affecting gasoline consumption is increases in vehicle fleet fuel efficiency that help reduce gasoline consumption, as more efficient vehicles use less fuel for each mile driven.

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Comments

THe DOE's EIA projects gasoline consumption until 2035 including the rise in CFE to 54 mpg in 2025. They project that Gasoline consumption doesn't change by more than a few hundred thousand BBLs/day all through the time. But it has declined by a few million BBLs/day in the past decade.

Of course, the sources for that Oil is changing. The US has displaced the sources from foreign to domestic for almost 3 million bbls/day, reducing our trade imbalance and the political influence of the Oil Sheiks and Oil Commissars, overseas.

Savings from 19th century "mass transit" has been negligible, and will stay that way. The Feds primary "investment" is in continuing losing operating subsidies, and new investment has been in long haul, "high speed trains" which move almost no people at all, and most projects will never be finished, like the California train to nowhere.

I predict that we will constinue to substitute domestic production for oil imports, and in a decade will be importing little foreign crude. Provided the political chuckleheads do not stop production through "regulation".

More good and bad news for USA:

1. Fossil fuel consumption is progressively going down.
2. About 5.5% of household are still at risk of going bankrupt versus 5.99% a year ago.
3. People are using 11% of their NET revenues to pay off debts vs 14% in 2007.
4. Sales were up by 0.1% in July
5. Peoples personal debts are down from 97.7% to 83.5% of US's total economy.
6. Personal wealth went down 39% from 2007 to 2010.
7. Real Estates value went down 42%
8. People (the 97%) savings were up from 3.1% to 4.4%.
9. Economic growth is at 1.5% annual rate.
10. People (97%) postponed the purchase of cars, appliances, houses etc and 22% postponed having a child.

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