Coming off a remarkable December, the energy industry kicked off 2019 with record-setting numbers. The American Petroleum Institute’s latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) shows the U.S. natural gas and oil industry set multiple records in January, including:
- Strongest gasoline demand (8.9 million barrels per day, mb/d) for the month January on record since 1945.
- Record refinery and petrochemical demand for other oils’ in any month (5.7 mb/d)
- U.S. production of crude oil (11.9 mb/d) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) (4.9 mb/d)
- Refinery throughput (17.3 mb/d) and capacity utilization (93.1 percent) for the month of January.
“The U.S has continued to meet virtually all of the growth in global oil demand, more than compensating for sanctioned Venezuelan crude and reduced OPEC production,” said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. “America’s strong production has continued to keep fuel prices low benefiting consumers, businesses and our allies overseas.”
Despite strong domestic demand, total U.S. petroleum inventories in January were 5.8 percent above their historical 5-year average. Notably, however, U.S. petroleum exports decreased to 7.5 mb/d with lower exports of crude oil and refined products, which may be indicative of slowing global oil demand and economic growth.
U.S. leading economic indicators gave mixed signals in January. However, one measure of international shipping activity – the Baltic Dry Index – was clear and fell by 47.4 percent m/m between the end of December and January. The only larger declines on record were during the Financial Crisis, in October and November 2008.
On the domestic economic front, API’s Distillate Economic and Financial Indicator (DEFI) as unveiled last month combines industry fundamentals from the Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) with oil prices and interest rates into an indicator of U.S. industrial production and economic growth. Based on data through January, DEFI’s growth year-over-year slowed by 0.3 percentage points for the second consecutive month.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy.