Total petroleum deliveries slipped 0.2 percent in July compared with one year earlier, with increases for gasoline and distillate fuel oil failing to offset declines for jet fuel, resid, and other products. Deliveries of low-sulfur distillate jumped nearly 13 percent, bring the increase for distillate fuel oil in total to over 9 percent despite a decline for high-sulfur distillate. Deliveries of gasoline rose a strong 1.7 percent. However, jet fuel deliveries fell 8.6 percent, and residís double-digit percentage declines continued.
Total U.S. crude production was down 1.3 percent in July compared with a year earlier, the smallest decline in year-to-year production in fourteen months; however, this was mainly a result of low production in July 2005. Then, domestic crude production had been hampered by three tropical storms in the Gulf and a planned 3-day shut down of the trans-Alaskan pipeline for maintenance.
Both crude oil and product imports for July were at their highest-ever levels for that month. Crude imports averaged 10.4 million barrels per day, up 1.8 percent from a year ago, and product imports, at 3.6 million barrels per day, were up 4.2 percent. Total motor gasoline imports (including blending components) remained above 1.2 million barrels per day for the fourth consecutive month in July to stand at a daily average of nearly 1.3 million barrels. Distillate imports rose by more than 50 percent from a year ago to a daily average of 383,000 barrels per day in July.
Refinery inputs in July continued above 16.0 million barrels per day for the second consecutive month. Production of ultra-low sulfur distillate (ULSD) made up nearly 2.1 million barrels per day, or two thirds, of low-sulfur production in July as refiners continued to ramp up production to meet new standards this year. Gasoline production rose more than 4 percent from a year ago, though distillate and jet fuel production fell.
Crude oil inventories declined from June to July by 4.6 million barrels. However, at 335.2 million barrels, they remained 4.9 percent higher than a year earlier With record production and extraordinarily high import levels, inventories of gasoline in July posted an unusual increase for this time of year, rising slightly from June to 209.9 million barrels. Inventories have tended to decline in July, averaging a 2.3 percent decline over the last five years. Total distillate fuel oil inventories rose for the third consecutive month in July, by 0.7 percent from June to stand at 129.9 million barrels.