Analysis – December

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Domestic sales of refined petroleum products totaled 8.6 million cubic metres, 18.5 thousand cubic metres or 0.2% above December 2007.

Motor gasoline sales totaled 3.6 million cubic metres, 29.1 thousand cubic metres or 0.8% below December 2007. Regular unleaded which accounted for about 90% of total gasoline sales decreased by 0.6%.

Refinery production totaled 10.3 million cubic metres in December 2008, 582.2 thousand cubic metres or 5.4 % below the same month a year earlier. The decrease in refinery production was led by a 307.0 thousand cubic metre or 7.7% decline in motor gasoline production. Heavy fuel oil production was down 192.5 thousand cubic meters or 21.3%.

Crude oil and equivalent receipts by refineries totaled 8.9 million cubic metres in December 2008, 47.2 thousand cubic metres or 0.5% below the same month a year earlier. Receipts of domestic crude oil totaled 4.8 million cubic metres, 6.1% below December 2007.

In December 2008, crude oil imports totaled 4.1 million cubic metres, 6.8% below the same month a year earlier. Of this volume OPEC accounted for 56.4%. Algeria was the largest OPEC supplier. Norway and the United Kingdom supplied an additional 27.6% of imports.

Crude oil and refined petroleum product inventories held by refineries and major distributors closed December 2008 at 14.4 million cubic metres, 29.6 thousand cubic metres or 0.2% below than the same month a year earlier.

Of this volume, crude oil inventories at the end of December 2008 totaled 3.3 million cubic metres, 168.4 thousand cubic metres or 4.9% below December 2007.

Inventories of refined petroleum products totaled 11.1 million cubic metres, 139.0 thousand cubic metres or 1.3% higher than closing December 2007.