NEW YORK U.S. total oil demand rose in September for the second consecutive month on a year-over-year basis as strong gasoline consumption offset weak distillate sales, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
U.S. oil demand in September rose by 2.3 percent, or 446,000 barrels per day (bpd), from a year ago to 19.86 million bpd, according to the EIA's petroleum supply monthly report.
The demand growth was led once again by gasoline, which rose by 2.2 percent, or 203,000 bpd, from a year ago to 9.49 million bpd in September, the data showed.
Gasoline demand surged over the summer, including record numbers in June.[nL1N1BC25N] Despite steady demand, U.S. refiners are still battling weak margins due to stubbornly high gasoline inventories built up during the boon years of 2014 and 2015.
The gasoline demand overcame a drop in demand for distillates, which fell in June by 3.32 percent, or 131,000 bpd, to 3.905 million bpd compared with last year, EIA data showed.
(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Marguerita Choy)