These Aren't the Oil Barrels You're Looking For

May 1, 2018

It's official: U.S. oil demand increased almost half-a-million barrels a day in February. Except, on the other hand, it didn't quite do that.

The Energy Information Administration just released its monthly estimates of U.S. oil supply and demand, which come with a time-lag. They show consumption of 19.62 million barrels a day in February, up 460,000 barrels from February 2017. If you're an oil bull, 2.4 percent growth in the biggest market on the planet is pretty encouraging.

But "oil" covers a multitude of liquids. And beneath that headline number lies another, less encouraging one.

Demand for "finished petroleum products" - gasoline, diesel, and the other useful stuff into which crude oil gets refined - fell by 189,000 barrels a day, or 1.1 percent. So what was the other 649,000 barrels a day that pushed up demand overall?

Read more on Bloomberg...

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