API Year End Statistics

The API has released their year end report on consumption, and some of the results were quite interesting. They held a blogger call today to discuss the results, but I got tied up and couldn’t make it. If they post a transcript, I will check it out and may excerpt some portions.

The summary of the statistical report may be found here, and the press release discussing the report is here. But here is the press release in full:

U.S. fuel production at record-high in 2007, demand flat – API

WASHINGTON – U.S. fuel production reached a record high in 2007 as refinery capacity expanded for the 11th straight year, API data show. U.S. crude oil production also rose in 2007, the first annual increase since 1991, according to API’s year-end Monthly Statistical Report.

The API statistics also showed that U.S. oil demand was flat in 2007, the third straight year of stagnant or lower oil demand in the world’s largest oil-consuming nation.

“While much of the increase in crude oil production represents a recovery from 2006’s depressed levels, our latest drilling figures show tremendous industry efforts to develop additional supplies from those regions that are open to exploration.,” said Ron Planting, manager, information and analysis, for API.

Given the higher domestic production and flat demand, total oil imports fell 1.9 percent from year-ago levels, though imports still cover about 65 percent of U.S. oil demand.

“Despite high oil prices, the industry worked hard to meet the needs of consumers by producing record amounts of fuel,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “Consumers appear to be responding to the higher prices at the margin.”

Total U.S. petroleum deliveries, a proxy for demand, averaged 20.7 million barrels per day, the same level seen in 2006, following a decline of 0.6 percent in that year. In the fourth quarter alone, deliveries slumped 0.4 percent.

Despite a one percent year-on-year increase in the first quarter, gasoline demand was lagging about half a percent below 2006 levels by the fourth quarter. On the other hand, distillate fuel oil demand rose 1.5 percent in the year amid rising diesel demand and higher home heating demand.

The demand data includes an increase in the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline, which averaged more than 400,000 barrels per day. Excluding ethanol, which accounted for nearly five percent of all gasoline sales during the year, total domestic oil deliveries in 2007 actually fell half a percent. An estimated 6.7 billon gallons of fuel ethanol were used by refiners in 2007, some two billion gallons more than the 4.7 billion gallons required by law but more than two billion gallons less than the recently-passed requirement for 2008.

So, three years in a row of stagnant oil demand. Is that because production has been flat, or have high prices caused demand to stay flat? Gasoline demand also reportedly fell, which would (I believe) be the first decline in quite some time. Are higher prices responsible, or is ethanol primarily responsible? Increased ethanol production is certain to be putting some pressure on natural gas prices; besides corn farmers, natural gas producers benefit from the ethanol mandates.

And does our government really think we should bump up the 2008 usage of ethanol to 9 billion gallons? (Yes, they do). Egads, I am going to plant some corn and get rich quick.

19 thoughts on “API Year End Statistics”

  1. The screw is finally turning. Demand for fossil oil, in the US and globally, is tagnant to down. Meanwhile, supplies are edging up, and biofuels (howver dubious) are booming.
    The good news is that these trends are just starting. Conservation tends to be cumulative, and growing, when price signals are at work. Ditto alternative fuels.
    The bad news is that we make crack the price of oil, and then go back to profligate ways.
    If we tax energy consumption, and subsidize solar power, we could drive down fossil oil prices for decades, and transfer money to the US Treasury instead of Thug States in the Mideast.
    At more than $60-$70, world demand for fossil will keep falling. The longer it stays up, the longer this trend will last.

  2. So, three years in a row of stagnant oil demand. Is that because production has been flat, or have high prices caused demand to stay flat?
    Did you read your own post? You are not letting your concerns with PO color your judgement, are you? The answer is in the press release: U.S. fuel production reached a record high in 2007.

    So it’s price, not availability (anybody know of any empty gas pumps?).

    The oil men are running scared now. They know ethanol is here to stay, and their best days are over.
    LOL! Good one, Pete! I guess you noticed that it was an oilman who put this whole ethanol plan into action. These days those oilmen seem to be doing a lot better than the ethanol refiners. We’ll see who stay, and who hightails out of Dodge…

  3. Odograph – wait a minute. CAFE went UP, without the help of the Democrat Party, California and the 16 state mafia, and 5 out of 9 of the Supremes?

    How is that possible? I thought the only people who knew how to run car companies are the politicians and the Sierra Club.

  4. I’m the one that keeps pointing out that CAFE has always stayed above the CAFE requirement.

    We handwave about legislation but we don’t have guts to legislate more than we are already doing.

    I think CAFE is stupid and should be scrapped. Just put a carbon tax on fossil fuels, and let the market learn to avoid those (by burning less fuel) the best they can.

  5. Odo – I think CAFE is stupid also. It punishes US car companies for American’s car buying preferences. US automakers make lots of fuel efficient cars – that Americans won’t buy. A gasoline tax or a gas guzzler tax is the most efficient, but least popular way to improve fleet mileage.

    BTW – I recently drove a 2008 Chevy Malibu rental car with the 2.4 DOHC engine. It got about 28 mpg – I really liked it. If I needed a vehicle this size I would give it a look.

  6. The weird thing is that people can buy any MPG they want. It’s a game. If you don’t like a CAFE compliant car you can buy:

    1) an import that ignores CAFE (VW, BMW, Mercedes?) and pays the fine

    2) a pickup or SUV that has had a lower requirement

    3) a car, pickup, or SUV with a “flex fuel” credit to offset it’s true MPG

    4) finally, no one stops you from buying a used car and tuning it up

    All in all there are options, the few who might be affected are the blithe car-buyers who go into the major makes without thinking too much about it.

    Found it:

    “In 2005, the last year for which the data is available, BMW, DaimlerChrysler—mostly its Mercedes-Benz unit — Volkswagen, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati and Spyker all paid CAFE fines — the total was $25.2 million. DaimlerChrysler, at $16.9 million, BMW, at $3 million, and VW, at $1.1 million, accounted for 90 percent.”

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/GreenCarAdvisor/43

  7. “In 2005, the last year for which the data is available, BMW, DaimlerChrysler—mostly its Mercedes-Benz unit — Volkswagen, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati and Spyker all paid CAFE fines — the total was $25.2 million. DaimlerChrysler, at $16.9 million, BMW, at $3 million, and VW, at $1.1 million, accounted for 90 percent.”
    Wow, that’s all?

    The shrinking three typically count their annual losses in billions of $$$. A mere tens of millions of $$$ fine is hardly going to force them to redesign their line-up.

    Kinda makes you wonder why GM and Ford bothers with the FlexFuel BS.

  8. Odo – you quote UCS? Of which John Stossel said: “The key word in ‘Union of Concerned Scientists’ isn’t ‘Scientists’ — you don’t need any particular degree or experience to join — but ‘Concerned,’ and the concerns in question are decidedly left wing.”

    That would be the same bunch that claims science purity, and then they state definatively that global warming is caused by humans (since when was it proven?). They love scientific consensus – except when it doesn’t agree with their liberal agenda against things like GM food and rGBH.

  9. I’ve actually argued with the UCS on their blog. They think CAFE improvements will actually do something.

    But the “science purity” thing and the rest is just a straw man. Basically you have to reject all of mainstream and moderate science now to claim GW is not caused by man.

    Did you watch Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Science, discussing global warming?

  10. BTW, were you disagreeing with the UCS on points of fact? Which facts? The ethanol flex-fuel adjustment does most certainly, factually, dilute any past CAFE requirement, as did the light truck loophole.

    For years the F150 was the best selling “car” in America, and it was essentially unregulated on MPG. Coincidence?

  11. Odo – UCS hasn’t seen a problem yet that can’t be solved with bigger government and less freedom. Their numbers might be factually correct. But rather than argue for scrapping CAFE, they want to close loopholes. The flex fuel dodge is merely pork barrel politics aimed at corn producing states.

    UCS pronoucements on AGW are as if it is a fundamental proven fact – as much as you would like to think so, AGW is most certainly not. Scientists should use fudge words like “humans may be contributing to global climate change” or “the data indicates that”. I will grant you that AGW theory is one explanation for the data. Some day we may know for sure – that day isn’t today. We don’t have nearly enough data. As a chemist you should know better and be more skeptical.

    Until then, for your amusement I present: The Top 10 Science Predictions that Didn’t Come True

    While you are there, you might want to check out Anthony’s work on auditing NOAA’s ground based weather stations. I’ve done several myself. Take a look at how the data is being collected and you tell me then I don’t have room to be skeptical. It appears that “climate scientists” are beter at politics than they are at data collection.

  12. You are building another strawman. I’ve said I can have doubts and still recognize the preponderence of scientific opinion.

    I think Ralph Cicerone (again, president of the National Academy of Science), sounds like he’s on the same vibe when he talks about the evidence that has lined up 2000-2007.

    If you duck that evidence, and make this about your political enemies … but I don’t find that terribly rational.

  13. BTW, if our positions were reversed, and I had to duck the National Academy of Science, and just veer off about some political group I despised … I think I’d start to feel kind of bad.

    We’re supposed to limit ourselves, before we become cranks.

  14. Odo – you can do better than that. I give you a link with a list of where the authority of science was wrong, and you counter with the authority of science???

    I like NAS better than UCS. The former being a REAL science organization and the other is a political organization pretending to be scientific.

    But back to AGW. There just isn’t enough data, the quality isn’t that great, and the results of the models are within the margin of error for the data and the measuring methods. But if you want to believe the climate change alarmist then fine, drink the kool aid.

  15. It is a common fallacy to say:

    “since humans are sometimes wrong, they are wrong in this case.”

    Seems sillier, and a balder lie, when you say “humans” rather than “scientists” … but it’s the same thing.

    Really it’s like saying “since humans are sometimes wrong, I can claim they are wrong on any particular issue.”

    It saves you from understanding the work they’ve actually done, and why they actually have the conclusions they do.

    It allows you to be a crank.

    Maybe I should ask how old you are? There might be an allowance, that an older male deserves to become a crank if he lives long enough (to close his mind to reason and evidence).

    There are some men who manage to stay open and flexible into their 80’s, but I admit they are rare.

    And so on a big problem like AGW we face whole cohorts of men locked into the views of their youth. If they have a little introspection left they might just grumble to themselves, and allow younger folk to get on with solutions, but that isn’t always the case.

    They’ll make sloppy arguments that since science has been wrong, science is always wrong.

    (Anyone with a still-flexible mind, who isn’t merely a “repeater station” for the network of calcified ‘wingers, might enjoy this at Scientific American. The ‘wingers of course will find a reason to crank about it.)

  16. BTW, to illustrate the crankiness of this paragraph:

    “But back to AGW. There just isn’t enough data, the quality isn’t that great, and the results of the models are within the margin of error for the data and the measuring methods. But if you want to believe the climate change alarmist then fine, drink the kool aid.”

    Note first that King simply asserts that he knows better than the president of the National Academy of Science, and then he goes beyond that, to suggest that the NAS is peddling alarmist kool aid.

    We can see how one leads to the other. If you think you (and your network of cranks) have the truth, then obviously there must be conspiracy at the NAS.

    Tin foil hat time.

    The NAS is peddling alarmist kool aid!

    Why? Because they give us the answer we don’t want to hear.

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