OREANDA-NEWS. Total petroleum deliveries, a measure of U.S. demand, rose 0.8 percent in January from the prior year to 19.4 million barrels per day. These were the highest January deliveries in eight years, since 2008. Total motor gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer gasoline demand, rose 1.4 percent from January 2015 to average 8.8 million barrels per day, the highest January demand since 2007. At nearly 3.6 million barrels per day, distillate deliveries decreased by 14.5 percent compared with January 2015.

“Low crude oil and gasoline prices increased consumer demand in January,” said Erica Bowman, API chief economist. “The industry also produced record amounts of gasoline for the month of January that more than met rising consumer demand. Additionally, refineries found plenty of international buyers for excess production leading to a record-setting January export level. This export market helps to minimize the trade deficit and keep manufacturing jobs here at home.”

Crude oil production decreased 1.4 percent from January 2015 to average 9.2 million barrels per day. Texas continued with high production, posting the highest ever January production. However, North Dakota year over year production continued to decline for the fifth consecutive month from record high levels.

U.S. total petroleum imports averaged 9.9 million barrels per day, up 5.3 percent from the prior year. Crude oil imports increased 8 percent from January 2015 to 7.7 million barrels per day. Refined product imports in January declined by 3.3 percent from the prior year to just under 2.2 million barrels per day.

Refinery gross inputs rose 2.5 percent from January 2015 to reach a new high for the month, averaging 16.2 million barrels per day. Production of all four major products–gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels—was higher than demand for those products.

Exports of refined petroleum products increased by 0.8 percent in January 2016 compared to January 2015 to average 4.6 million barrels per day. This was the highest January export level ever. Gasoline production averaged nearly 9.5 million barrels per day, up 1.6 percent from the prior year. However, distillate fuel production declined by 4.8 percent from January 2015. Refinery capacity utilization rate averaged 89.3 percent in January, up 0.9 percentage points from the prior year. This was the highest rate for the month in 11 years. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 18.130 million barrels per day.

Crude oil stocks ended in January at 501.6 million barrels–the highest January inventory level in 86 years, since 1930. Motor gasoline stocks rose 5.5 percent from year ago levels to their highest inventories in 34 years at 252.7 million barrels. Distillate fuel oil stocks ended at 161.5 million barrels, up 22.4 percent from year ago levels. Jet fuel stocks were up from year ago levels, rising by 8.4 percent to 41.7 million barrels. Stocks of “other oils” were also up. Total inventories of all oils were up 13.7 percent from year ago levels.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.