Washington, D.C. – Demand for fuel dropped to its second-lowest January level in ten years in the U.S., as harsh winter storms kept people home across much of the country, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). Fuel demand is measured by the level of total U.S. petroleum deliveries.
Seasonal demand for heating oil soared by more than 40 per cent when compared with January 2010, while ultra-low sulphur diesel, used in highway trucks, fell to its lowest level since March 2010.
“The snow and cold kept people at home this January, and many roads and highways were impassable for periods,” said John Felmy, API chief economist. “That’s a big part of what you’re seeing in the demand numbers. Total petroleum demand was up only about 1.7 per cent from January a year ago.”
Despite the reduced demand, refineries produced more gasoline, distillate fuels and jet fuels. Gasoline production rose by 4.9 per cent from last year and reached a record high for any January, while imports of products declined.
Domestic production of crude oil dropped 3.7 per cent to 5.2 million barrels per day, primarily due to a closure of the Trans Alaskan pipeline system. Production in the lower 48 states was up slightly.
Updated:February 18, 2011