The United States' Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the country's petroleum demand will remain below 2019 levels for several more months due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an EIA statement said on Monday.
The administration forecasts that US consumption of total petroleum and other liquid fuels will continue increasing in the second half of 2020 as economic activity increases. However, it will remain lower than the 2019 average level until August 2021, it said.
"Consumption of US liquid fuels fell in March and April 2020 as a result of reduced travel related to COVID-19 and its mitigation measures," the statement read.
US consumption of liquid fuels in April reached an all-time monthly low since the early 1980s to average 14.7 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the EIA.
The administration's weekly data shows the consumption of petroleum products had increased as many US states have relaxed restrictions against COVID-19.
The EIA said it expects motor gasoline consumption to average 8.3 million bpd in 2020, down 1 million bpd, or 10%, from 2019.
As higher employment leads to an increase in gasoline consumption, the EIA forecasts gasoline consumption will increase to 9.1 million bpd in the second half of 2020, although this level would still be around 2% less than the 2019 average.
As for jet fuel consumption, the EIA anticipates it will be 31% lower in 2020, compared to last year.
Jet fuel consumption in the US fell to an estimated 660,000 bpd in the second quarter of 2020 and is expected to increase to 1.4 million bpd in the fourth quarter of this year.
The EIA said it forecasts that jet fuel consumption would continue rising in 2021 to average 1.5 million bpd. However, this level, if realized, would be around 12% lower than its 2019 average.
By Ovunc Kutlu