OREANDA-NEWS. January 26, 2017. Total petroleum deliveries in December increased 0.5 percent from December 2015, and were up 0.6 percent from November, to average nearly 19.7 million barrels per day. These were the highest December deliveries in six years, since 2010.

For the fourth quarter, total domestic petroleum deliveries, a measure of U.S. petroleum demand, increased by 1.1 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2015. For year to date, total domestic petroleum deliveries increased by 0.4 percent compared to the same period last year to 19.6 million barrels per day. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) January 6, 2017 report, the overall economy in the U.S. showed slight growth in December, adding 156,000 jobs. BLS also reported that the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate in December posted little change, at 7.5 million and 4.7 percent, respectively.

In December, gasoline deliveries were down from the prior month, the prior year, and the prior quarter, but were up from the prior year to date. Gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer gasoline demand, decreased by 1.5 percent from November, and fell by 1.3 percent from December 2015, to average slightly above 9.0 million barrels per day. These were the second highest December deliveries in nine years, since 2007.

“2016 wrapped up on a good economic note as the economy continued to add more jobs and consumers enjoyed relatively low fuel costs,” said Chief Economist, Erica Bowman.

Domestic crude oil production in December was down from the prior year, the prior quarter, and the prior year to date, but was slightly up from the prior month. At an average of nearly 8.8 million barrels per day, U.S. crude oil production in December decreased 4.8 percent from December 2015, but increased 0.6 percent from November. December’s crude oil production was the lowest December output since 2013.

U.S. total petroleum imports in December averaged just above 10.0 million barrels per day, down by 3.0 percent from the prior month but up 3.1 percent from the prior year. This was the highest output for the month of December, since 2011. For the fourth quarter, total imports were up 8.5 percent compared with the same period last year. For year to date, total imports increased 6.7 percent compared with the same period last year and was the highest year to date on record, since 2012.

Crude oil stocks (excluding lease stocks) reached its highest inventory level for the month of December since 1929. At 483.2 million barrels, crude stocks ended slightly lower than November, falling by 0.5 percent or 2.6 million barrels, but were 7.6 percent or 33.9 million barrels higher than December 2015. Stocks of motor gasoline ended up 2.7 percent from November, but were down by 0.6 percent from December 2015, to 234.1 million barrels in December.

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 625 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.