August 13, 2008 at 6:34 pm #3482
U.S. Fuel Use Falls to 5-Year Low in First 7 Months, API Says
By Margot Habiby
Aug. 13, 2008 (Bloomberg) — U.S. gasoline consumption fell to the
lowest in five years in the first seven months of 2008 as
consumer behavior shifted in the wake of record pump prices, an
oil-industry report today showed.
Gasoline use declined 2.1 percent to an average 9.07 million
barrels a day through July, erasing five years of demand growth
for the period, the American Petroleum Institute said in a
“We’re seeing people driving less, using more public
transportation and buying more fuel-efficient vehicles,” said
Ron Planting, an analyst with the Washington-based institute who
helped prepare the report. “There are people combining trips.
There’s no limit to the creativity that people will apply to how
to save some fuel.”
Regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, reached a record
$4.114 a gallon on July 17, according to AAA, the biggest U.S.
motorist organization. The average was $3.79 a gallon today.
Gasoline futures reached a record $3.631 a gallon on July
11, the same day crude oil touched a record $147.27 a barrel.
Gasoline prices averaged 45 percent higher in the first seven
months of 2008 than a year earlier, and oil prices averaged 80
percent higher, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Oil for September delivery rose 71 cents, or 0.6 percent, to
$113.72 a barrel at 9:04 a.m. on the New York Mercantile
Exchange. It has dropped more than 23 percent since reaching the
record a month ago.
Deliveries of petroleum products fell to an average 20
million barrels a day in the first seven months of the year, down
3.6 percent from the year earlier, according to the API. Total
imports dropped by 3.9 percent to 13.1 million barrels a day.
Gasoline consumption averaged 9.23 million barrels a day in
July, down 4.2 percent from the year earlier, the API report
The U.S. produced 5.13 million barrels a day of crude oil
through July, up 0.2 percent from the same period in 2007,
according to the institute. Output was down 47 percent from the
peak of 9.6 million barrels a day in 1970.
The drop in fuel use was restrained by rising demand for
diesel, the report showed. In July, production of distillate
fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, rose 13.5 percent to a
monthly high. Jet fuel output rose about 11 percent to the
highest for any month since 2005.
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