API: U.S. crude oil imports decreased by 9.2% in 2009

The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced in mid-January that the imports of crude oil and related products decreased by 9.2% in 2009, falling to an average of 11.7 million barrels per day. The oil industry group attributed the drop to decreased demand due to the economic recession. API measures petroleum demand in terms of the total petroleum deliveries in the United States, which averaged 18.7 million barrels per day in 2009, a 3.6% drop below 2008 levels, which in turn were 6% below 2007 levels. U.S. crude oil production was also up 7% over 2008 production levels, averaging 5.3 million barrels per day. All of which says that the country inched closer to energy independence in 2009. However, API saw a slight increase in petroleum demand in December 2009, suggesting that economic recovery could erode some of these gains.

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