U.S. PETROLEUM DEMAND: 20.3 MBD
API - Led by gasoline and seasonal demand for heating fuels, U.S. petroleum demand hit 20.3 million barrels per day (MBD) in February. Demand was up by more than a million barrels per day from February of last year, nearing record highs not seen for more than a decade.
"The economy and energy demand have continued to show solid momentum so far in 2018," said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. "With U.S. oil and NGL production at record levels – and a resilient industry value chain that has absorbed the growth – consumers are benefiting from this momentum and enjoying affordable and reliable fuels made right here at home."
The strength in U.S. petroleum demand is consistent with indicators that the macroeconomic backdrop has remained solid. However, crude prices declined in February after seven consecutive monthly increases. International crude oil prices fell by more than domestic ones (5.4 percent m/m for Brent versus 2.3 percent m/m for WTI) in February. WTI crude oil prices averaged $62.23 per barrel, while Brent averaged $65.32 per barrel for the month.
At these prices February, U.S. supply achieved new highs for production of crude oil (10.3 MBD) and Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) (4.1 MBD). U.S. refineries also processed crude and other feedstocks (16.4 MBD) at record levels for the month, which displaced petroleum imports other than a seasonal winter need for distillate.
In addition, the U.S. rig count climbed to 984 rigs as of March 9 and has averaged 959 rigs through Q1 2018 to date; this represents an increase of 4.0 percent above the average for Q4 2017 and should position U.S. production for continued growth.
- U.S. petroleum demand near its highest levels in 11 years.New dual records for U.S. oil and NGL production.
- Gasoline demand eclipsed 9.0 MBD in February for only the third time ever.
- Winter weather spurred February distillate demand growth.
- Fuel oil demand rebounded with cold seasonal winter weather.
- Despite a monthly decline, jet fuel demand was the strongest for February since 2007.
- New dual records for U.S. oil and NGL production.
- Rising crude oil exports more than offset a fall in U.S. refined product exports.
- Gasoline and jet fuel production led record February refinery output.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.