This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 04, 2009

U.S. Petroleum Demand Dropped 6% in 2008, Says Oil Industry

In 2008, the U.S. demand for petroleum dropped to its lowest level since 2003, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). Using U.S. petroleum deliveries as a measure of oil demand, API found that demand dropped by 1.2 million barrels per day, a 6% drop, to 19.4 million barrels per day. Oil demand fell because the demand for fuels dropped, with gasoline deliveries sliding by 3.3%; distillate fuel oil deliveries, which includes diesel fuel, decreasing by 5.8%; jet fuel deliveries dropping by 6.1%, and residual fuel oil deliveries falling by 14%. Coincidentally, U.S. crude oil production was also down, as lower oil production in Alaska and hurricane-related shut-ins in the Gulf of Mexico pushed production below 5 million barrels per day for the first time since 1946. Despite the drop in production, the imports of crude oil and petroleum products also decreased by more than 5% to 12.9 million barrels per day, the lowest level in five years. U.S. production of one petroleum product increased, however: the refinery output of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel increased by more than 10%, to 3.1 million barrels per day. See the API press release.