U.S. crude oil demand fell to its lowest in nearly four years in July as the middling U.S. economy and fuel efficiency gains weighed on consumption, the American Petroleum Institute said on Friday.
A large chunk of the decline in oil demand came from gasoline use. At the height of summer driving season, petroleum demand dropped 2.7 percent from a year earlier to 18.062 million barrels per day. It was the smallest amount of U.S. oil consumption for any month since September 2008.
Although, demand for distillate fuel, which includes diesel and heating oil, rose 4.9 percent to 3.622 million bpd in July, the API said. Unfortunately much of the distillate demand appears to be export driven, as developing nations require more and more diesel and residual fuel.
Despite some recent optimism that our economy is improving, the reality for oil and heating companies is not so optimistic as local consumer demand becomes les and less.