U.S. refineries set new November records for gross inputs and exports of refined products, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported.
Gross inputs in November 2014 rose by 0.9 percent from last year to average 16.3 million barrels per day, while exports were up 5.5 percent to average 4.2 million barrels per day.
With many plants back online after their scheduled turnaround, the API put the overall refinery capacity utilization rate at an average of 91.4 percent in November. This was up 2.6 percentage points from October, up 0.8 percentage points from November 2013, and was the highest November rate in 10 years.
Meanwhile, imports of refined products dropped 27.3 percent year-on-year to the lowest level since May 1995 at 1.4 million barrels per day.
Total U.S. petroleum deliveries last month reached a seven-year high, increasing by 1.9 percent from November 2013 to average 19.9 million barrels per day. At the same time, total petroleum imports were down by 5.2 percent from November last year, averaging just under 8.9 million barrels per day — the second lowest level since February 1996.
Welcoming the uptick in U.S. production and deliveries, API chief economist John Felmy said: "It has been several years since we've seen this level of demand in November. The economy overall appeared to be in good shape last month, and production of crude, natural gas and refined products all remained quite strong."
Earlier this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that U.S. refineries were processing a record volume of crude oil for this time of year and were operating at 93.4 percent of their capacity in the last week of November.