Gasoline production in the United States has been at near record levels in the first seven months of 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The four-week rolling average production levels have been greater than the five-year average and near the top of its five-year range. U.S. gasoline inventories have been high even with rising domestic and foreign demand.
“Growth in U.S. gasoline production since March is the result of record-high refinery runs,” according to the EIA. “For the week ending April 21, 2017, U.S. refinery runs exceeded 17.5 million barrels per day for the first time since EIA began publishing the weekly data series in 1990. Refinery runs have since exceeded this threshold eight additional times, reaching an all-time high of 17.9 million barrels per day the week ending Aug. 4, 2017. About 44% of the input to refineries is converted to motor gasoline.”
Net production of finished motor gasoline reached an average of 9.3 million barrels per day for the week ending Aug. 11. The net production accounts for the unadjusted refiner and blender net production of finished motor gasoline but not the amount of fuel ethanol used to isolate the petroleum component. “This quantity is 191,000 barrels per day lower than the five-year high for early August but still more than 492,000 barrels per day higher than the previous five-year average.”
While gasoline production levels have been high, gasoline inventories have been falling because of rising exports and domestic demand. But the inventories are greater than the previous five-year average, according to the EIA. So far in 2017, gasoline exports have risen by 222,000 barrels per day, compared to the previous five-year average. Domestic gasoline demand reached a record 9.84 million barrels per day for the week ending July 28 but has declined to 9.52 million barrels per day in the week ending Aug. 11.
Motor gasoline consumption is expected to be flat in 2017, from 2016.