The gradual reopening of state economies drove a notable rebound in U.S. energy markets in the month of May with U.S. petroleum demand increasing 14% to 16.2 million barrels per day (b/d), according to data released in the American Petroleum Institute’s May 2020 Monthly Statistical Report and Q2 2020 Industry Outlook. Motor gasoline accounted for more than 80% of the demand increase with monthly deliveries surging nearly 29% to 7.3 million b/d after reaching a multi-decade low in April. Demand for distillate fuel and liquid feedstocks also notched monthly increases, while jet fuel posted its fifth consecutive monthly decline and reached its lowest level since 1967.
On the supply side, reduced drilling activity led to a 0.6 million b/d decrease in U.S. crude oil production which averaged 11.4 million b/d in May. By contrast, U.S. natural gas liquids production held relatively steady at 4.8 million b/d, down 0.8% from the month prior. These production decreases correspond with a record fall in U.S. drilling activity, which has declined 70% year to date in response to the unprecedented and abrupt decline in demand.