* Sept oil demand revised down 2.7 pct from prior estimate
* Gasoline demand up for fourth month in a row
* Demand for distillates, jet fuel still down
(Recasts lead, adds background)
WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - U.S. oil demand in September was 2.74 percent less than previously estimated, the government said on Monday, dampening the outlook for a strong recovery in petroleum consumption.
September U.S. petroleum consumption was lowered 518,000 barrels per day to 18.362 million bpd, the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly petroleum supply report.
Oil traders have been looking for any signs of strengthening oil demand in the United States, the world's largest petroleum consumer.
Over the past year a global recession has cut oil consumption around the world, but expectations of an economic rebound pushed oil prices to levels around $80 a barrel over the past few months.
Despite the revision, U.S. oil demand in September was up 523,000 bpd compared to a year earlier, the first year-over-year increase in oil consumption for any month since July 2007.
The EIA said the rise in petroleum consumption this September reflects the impact of two hurricanes on U.S. oil supplies during the same month last year.
The storms "just totally disrupted the supply chain, so we had a drop in September (2008)," said Doug MacIntyre, senior oil market analyst at EIA. U.S. oil consumption fell to 17.839 million bpd in September 2008, its lowest level in more than 10 years.
September gasoline consumption climbed 4.7 percent, or 400,000 bpd, compared to a year earlier. This was the fourth month in a row that gasoline demand increased from a year earlier.
The higher fuel consumption occurred as U.S. highway travel in September soared 2.5 percent from a year earlier, rising to 240.7 billion miles (387.4 billion km), according to the U.S. Transportation Department.
It was the biggest jump in miles traveled since driving rates started rising in June.
As gasoline consumption continued to rise, demand for other petroleum products remained weak. Distillate demand in September was down 7.5 percent from a year ago, while jet fuel use was down 5 percent.
September residual fuel demand plummeted 34.4 percent to 341,000 bpd.
Below is a chart comparing the EIA's final monthly demand numbers with the agency's previous weekly demand estimates and final year-ago numbers:
EIA Monthly Demand Data
(In millions of barrels per day)
Prev Est **********Change vs************ Product Sept For Sept Prev Est Yr Ago Yr ago pct Gasoline 8.897 9.063 -1.83% 8.497 4.71% Distillate 3.459 3.403 1.65% 3.740 -7.51% Jet Fuel 1.404 1.439 -2.43% 1.478 -5.01% Residual 0.341 0.439 -22.32% 0.520 -34.42% Total 18.362 18.880 -2.74% 17.839 2.93% U.S. year on year oil demand changes: August 2009 -2.8 pct July 2009 -4.0 pct June 2009 -4.7 pct May 2009 -8.2 pct April 2009 -6.8 pct March 2009 -5.8 pct Feb 2009 -6.6 pct Jan 2009 -5.5 pct Dec 2008 -7.6 pct Nov 2008 -7.2 pct *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. *This report is released on last week in the month at link.reuters.com/vup24g. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Marguerita Choy) ((email@example.com; +1 202 310 5683; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)) ((For help: Click "Contact Us" in your desk top, click here [HELP] or call 1-800-738-8377 for Reuters Products and 1-888-463-3383 for Thomson products; For client training: email@example.com ; +1 646-223-5546))
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