Every time you think the petroleum supply-demand and import-export scenario for the US might take a breather in its revolutionary change, it throws even more shocking figures at you.
The big monthly Energy Information Administration report that comes out at the end of the month, with data from two months prior, has the advantage this month of also having full-year data for 2012. Here are some of the highlights.
- US net petroleum import dependence has taken the kind of fall you’d expect to see in an economy that is being dragged into a depression, given how steep it has been. But that’s not the case. US import dependence in December dropped to 5.987 million b/d. The last time it was less than 6 million b/d was in early 1991. So the year ended up with monthly net import dependence figures of–starting in July–7.537 million b/d, 7.881, 7.383, 6.883, 6.698 and 5.987. That’s a seismic shift.
- What are the reasons for this? Obviously, yet another post-2008 record monthly production of crude played a part. At 7.03 million b/d, it was the second consecutive month of US crude production more than 7 million b/d. But demand–reported by the EIA as “disposition” — is taking a continuing downward turn. In December, it was 18.13 million b/d. The last time it was less than that was March 1997, at 17.863 million b/d. Full-year disposition averaged 18.555 million b/d, and it is the nadir year in a stretch that has seen disposition decline from 20.779 million b/d in 2005, which is the record. So 2.2 million b/d of demand has disappeared, and that is not all related to a weak economy. Peak oil may be debated, but for now, peak demand clearly seems to be in the US’ rear-view mirror.
Blog entry continues below…
|Request a free trial of: Oilgram News|
|Oilgram News brings fast-breaking global petroleum and gas news to your desktop every day. Our extensive global network of correspondents report on supply and demand trends, corporate news, government actions, exploration, technology, and much more.|
- Gasoline and residual fuel exports were the third highest ever; total distillate exports were the 7th highest ever. All that added up to total product exports of 2.994 million b/d, the second-highest ever. (NGL exports, which have been climbing almost monthly, actually dipped a bit.)
- The oil pouring out of the Bakken is mostly light sweet crude, and it shows in the impact it has on exporters of similar grades. Nigeria in December exported 248,000 b/d of oil to the US. That’s the lowest for a month since early 1986. Angola exported 116,000 b/d. It has fallen from a high of 708,000 b/d in March 2007.
If you want to delve deeply into the numbers, you can find the report here.