API: U.S. Petroleum Demand Lowest In 5 Years

Total U.S. demand for petroleum in 2008 shrank to its lowest levels in the last five years due to the combined effects of higher prices early in the year and a weakening economy as the year progressed, the American Petroleum Institute reported in its Monthly Statistical Report.

U.S. petroleum deliveries fell 6% for 2008 – the most rapid rate of decline since 1980 – to 19.4 million barrels per day, with declines seen in all major petroleum products, API reported.

Gasoline deliveries fell 3.3% to their lowest levels in five years, while deliveries of distillate fuel oil, jet fuel and residual fuel oil all saw significant declines.

“All told, the magnitude of the drop in U.S. petroleum demand, which totaled more than 1.2 million barrels per day, was enough to offset the continued demand gains in developing countries around the world,” API statistics manager Ron Planting said.

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