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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Kirby, James G.; Carleton, David A.; Moore, Betty M.
Crude petroleum and petroleum products,   pp. 909-1026 PDF (10.9 MB)

Page 917

 The domestic demand for motor gasoline increased 6.3% in 1972 to 2,333,777,000
barrels, the highest increase reported since 1968. The high level of the
general economy, which boosted new car sales to record levels, and the reduced
efficiency of new car engines because of federal air emission standards and
other equipment sent demand soaring. To keep up with the heavy demand, refineries
maintained high yields of gasoline much later in the season than normal and
entered the winter heating season with low stocks of distillate fuel oils
which created spot shortages in some areas. 
 The new supply of motor gasoline in 1972 was 2,328 million barrels of which
1,986 million barrels was produced from crude oil, 307 million barrels from
natural gas liquids, and 10 million barrels from other hydrocarbons and hydrogen;
25 million barrels was imported. 
 According to data compiled by API based on tax data reported by the States,
2,387 million barrels of motor gasoline was consumed in the United States
in 1972 compared with 2,236 million in 1971. This differs from the demand
data compiled by the Bureau of Mines, which do not include changes in secondary
 Aviation gasoline demand continued to decline in 1972 as it has for the
past 14 years, and domestic demand was 16,628,000 barrels compared with 17,892,000
barrels irs 1971. 
 The markets for kerosine continued to decline in 1972, and demand was off
5.7%. Domestic demand was 85,854,000 barrels compared with 90,917,000 in
1971. The primary use for kerosine was for space heating, which represents
about 78% of demand, but it is being replaced by more convenient fuels such
as bottled gas (propane) and electricity. 
 The 9.8% gain in domestic demand fox distillate fuel oil in 1972 was attributed
to colder-than-normal weather, the high level of industrial activity, and
substitution for other fuels in areas where air quality restrictions limit
the use of fuels with higher sulfur content, and where natural gas was in
short supply. Domestic demand 
for the year was 1,066,049,000 barrels compared with 971,316,000 barrels
in 1971. Exports declined from 2,761,000 barrels in 1971 to 1,214,000 barrels.
 Meeting the strong demand for both gasoline and distillate fuel oil created
problems for refiners in 1972. Some inland refiners had difficulty obtaining
particular types of crude oil suited to their refineries and in some cases
had to limit crude runs. The changeover from high yields of gasoline to distillate
fuel oil was delayed until late fall, and stocks at the beginning of the
1972—73 heating season were uncomfortably low. Fortunately, the exceptionally
cold weather of October and November did not continue. Controls were relaxed
to permit more imports and refiners concentrated on higher production of
distillate fuel oil, so that except for a few spot shortages in some areas,
demand was met for the 1972—73 season. 
 The new supply of distillate fuel oil in 
1972 was 1,030,960,000 barrels, an increase 
of 6.3% or 61,532,000 barrels more than in 
1971. To meet the total demand requirements, 36,303,000 barrels were withdrawn
from stocks. 
 Residual fuel oil demand lost out in some heating and industrial markets
because of air quality regulations, but the gain in the electric utility
market was so high that the overall increase in the domestic demand for residual
increased 10.5%. A strong factor in the growth was the increase in the new
supply of lowsulfur residual fuel oil from domestic and foreign sources.
About 34% of the residual fuel oil imported (exclusive of fuel for bunkering)
had a sulfur content of 0.5% or less, while only 19% of the 1971 imports
had this low a sulfur content. Over 22% of the residual produced in US. refineries
in 1972 had a sulfur content of 03% or less, compared with 18% in 1971. 
 Electric utilities used 493,927,000 barrels 
for the generation of electric power in 
1972 compared with 362,022,000 barrels in 
 The total demand for residual fuel oil in 1972 was 937,707,000 barrels including
a domestic demand of 925,647,000 and exports of 12,060,000 barrels. The new
supply for the year totaled 933,242,000 barrels of 

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