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U.S. oil imports fell to 19-year low for July, API report shows


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Bloomberg) -- U.S. imports of crude and fuel in July dropped to the lowest level for the month in 19 years as domestic production rose, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Imports slid to 9.06 MMbpd, the least for July since 1995, the industry-funded group said Aug. 21 in a monthly report. Domestic crude-oil production rose to the highest July level since 1986, staying above 8 MMbpd for a sixth month.

“Last month generated new records for many of the petroleum statistics we track,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in the report. “Imports of crude oil and refined products set multidecade lows for the month.”

Total imports dropped 12% from a year earlier, the API said. Imports of crude oil decreased 7.2% from 2013 to average 7.49 MMbpd, also the lowest July level in 19 years.

Crude production jumped 14% from 2013 to 8.5 MMbpd. Output has surged as a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has unlocked supplies trapped in shale formations, including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.

Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of consumption, climbed 1.3% from a year earlier to 19.3 MMbpd. It was the highest level for the month in four years. Gasoline demand increased 1% to 9.15 million.

Distillate Demand

Demand for distillate fuel, which includes diesel and heating oil, climbed 6.6% to 3.81 million, the highest July level since 2007. Jet fuel consumption rose 3.3% to 1.57 million.

Deliveries of residual oil, used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion, dropped 49% to 183,000 bpd.

U.S. refinery input reached 16.6 MMbbl last month, the highest July level, the API said. Production of gasoline advanced 6.6% to 9.93 MMbpd and output of distillates rose 1.5% to 5 million. Both were record levels for the month.



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