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High demand for fuel

Thursday, November 02, 2017

NEW YORK - US gasoline demand hit a record in August, delivering a strong end to the summer driving season, according to data released on Tuesday by the US Energy Information Administration.

US gasoline demand rose by a modest 0.9 per cent, or 83,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.77 million bpd in August compared with the same month last year, the data showed.

The level was the highest on record, according to the EIA's data.

It was the fourth increase in the past five months, EIA data showed.

The strong demand came ahead of much of the historic hurricane activity this year.

Overall, US gasoline demand January through August was relatively flat compared with the same stretch last year, largely because of a poor first quarter, but it could decline in the months ahead as data is released that takes into account the demand decline from the series of hurricanes that hit the US.

US gasoline demand, which accounts for 10 per cent of global consumption and hit a record high last year, has risen each year since 2012.

US crude oil output fell slightly in the month to 9.20 million bpd in August from 9.23 million in July, according to the data.

Production has been in a range of 9.07 million bpd to 9.23 million bpd since February, according to the data.

US distillate demand remained strong, rising 2.9 per cent year-on-year to 3.99 million bpd in August, the data showed.

Total oil demand was down 0.6 per cent year-on-year, or 114,000 bpd, to 20.16 million bpd in August, the data showed.

Motor travel data suggests strong driving numbers, but experts have said greater fuel efficiency has taken hold and helped tamp down gasoline demand.

US motorists logged 0.8 per cent more miles on the road in July than they did in the year-ago month, keeping 2017 on pace to break last year's record of total miles driven, according to US Department of Transportation data.

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