At 9.3 million barrels a day, US gasoline deliveries (a measure of demand) fell slightly (0.03%)in July 2010 compared with July 2009, continuing weak deliveries for the first half of the year, according to figures from the American Petroleum Institute (API). Except for 2008, it was the lowest July gasoline demand number since 2003.
Total petroleum demand, on the other hand, rose 3.8% in July over a year ago. This includes a strong 11.6% increase for deliveries of low sulfur distillates, which are primarily diesel fuels used in trucking, and a 6.9% increase in kerosine jet fuel deliveries.
Domestic crude oil production rose marginally in July over June 2010 to 5.4 million barrels per day. That was down 0.4% from July 2009 but still higher than any other July since 2004. US drilling activity increased over June, according to Baker Hughes Inc.
US refineries produced 9.4 million barrels of gasoline a day in July, up from June and from a year before, which helped raise refinery utilization rates to 87.4%, marking the third consecutive monthly increase. Total product imports for July at 2.1 million barrels a day were down, but gasoline imports including blending components were up 4.1% from the previous July. Crude oil imports rose by 5.6% from July a year ago to 9.6 million barrels per day. Crude oil and gasoline stocks continued to build from June levels and also were up from July a year ago. Distillate stocks were up from June but down from July a year ago.