The American Petroleum Institute’s latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) shows the U.S. natural gas and oil industry established multiple records in December, including the highest:

  • U.S. production of crude oil (11.7 mb/d) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) (4.8 mb/d);
  • Crude oil exports (2.4 mb/d, tie with Nov. 2018);
  • Annual gasoline demand (9.3 mb/d, tie with 2016 and 2017);
  • Refinery and petrochemical feedstock demand for December (5.5 mb/d);
  • Refinery throughput for the month of December (17.7 mb/d) and year (17.3 mb/d); and,
  • Refinery capacity utilization for the month of December (95.0 percent) and year (93.0 percent, tie with 2004).

“With strong economic growth in 2018 and remarkable productivity by the natural gas and oil industry, the United States contributed more than 2.1 million barrels per day of new oil supplies in 2018, including all liquid fuels, which was the greatest addition to supply that the world has ever seen in a single year. The U.S. met virtually all of the growth in global oil demand for the year – more than compensating for declines among OPEC nations,” said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman.

With record refinery throughput, total petroleum inventories – led by refined products – built to within 2.6 percent of the maximum of the 5-year historical range.  Meanwhile, the U.S. also took another step closer to energy independence with petroleum net imports falling below 2.0 million barrels per day in December.

Markets remained resilient and, despite trade frictions with China, U.S. petroleum trade has found other international markets.