UPDATE 1-U.S. oil demand in 2012 was lowest in 16 years -EIA
* U.S. December oil demand down 4.4 pct from prior estimate * Gasoline demand in 2012 at lowest level since 2001 * Distillate demand down 4 pct yr/yr in 2012 By Ayesha Rascoe WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. oil consumption posted an unexpected drop in December, pulling total demand for 2012 to the lowest annual level since 1996, the U.S government said on Wednesday. The decline is the latest chapter in a years-long stretch of tepid oil demand in the United States, reflecting a weak economy and high unemployment, growing vehicle efficiency and high fuel prices that have cut into usage. The Energy Information Administration said in its monthly petroleum supply report that oil demand in the world's top consumer dipped to 18.13 million barrels per day in December, down 4.4 percent or 835,000 bpd from a projection last week. Oil demand for the year was at 18.56 million bpd, down 2.08 percent compared with 2011, with petroleum use falling in every month in 2012 except May. The downward revision for December placed oil demand down 673,000 bpd, or 3.4 percent from the 18.8 million bpd posted for the same month in 2011. The EIA had initially forecast a 0.9 percent increase year-on-year. The EIA's demand figure for December was lower than the 18.41 million bpd reported by the American Petroleum Institute for the month. The API said oil demand fell 2.1 percent from a year earlier. Overall, API also said that oil demand during 2012 was at its lowest annual level since 1996. Demand for gasoline in December fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier. Gasoline consumption during 2012 dropped to 8.7 million bpd, the lowest level since 2001. Distillate fuel consumption in December dropped 8.4 percent year-on-year, with total demand for 2012 down 4 percent year-on-year at 3.74 million bpd. Demand for jet fuel during 2012 dipped 1.8 percent year-on-year to 1.4 million bpd. EIA Monthly Demand Data Product December Prior Prev Est Yr Ago Yr ago Pct Forecast Pct Change Change Gasoline 8.378 8.49 -1.32% 8.683 -3.51% Distillate 3.529 3.6 -1.97% 3.853 -8.41% Jet Fuel 1.373 1.436 -4.39% 1.353 1.48% Residual 0.19 0.332 -42.77% 0.519 -63.39% Total 18.13 18.965 -4.40% 18.803 -3.58% -This chart compares the latest monthly EIA petroleum supply report with the previous weekly report and final year-ago numbers. The EIA's monthly report always differs from the weekly report as the monthly reflects data supplied from all U.S. energy companies, while the weekly report surveys the biggest companies representing about 90 percent of the market. The total demand number reflects many petroleum products beyond gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuel listed in the table. U.S. year-on-year oil demand changes: Nov 2012 -2.49 pct Oct 2012 -0.65 pct Sept 2012 -3.81 pct Aug 2012 -0.97 pct July 2012 -0.94 pct June 2012 -1.76 pct May 2012 1.23 pct April 2012 -1.72 pct March 2012 -5.77 pct Feb 2012 -0.6 pct
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