EIA Says US Crude Oil Demand Showing Largest Decline For 26 Years

The US Energy Information Administration said yesterday that US demand for crude oil had fallen by 800,000 barrels a day in the first half of the year, the largest decline for 26 years. It blamed slower economic growth and higher petrol prices.

The falling oil price has brought some relief to US motorists with the price of a gallon of fuel falling below $4 for the first time since late May. The regular Lundberg survey of filling stations found the average cost of unleaded petrol has fallen by 15 cents over two weeks to $3.85. High prices have been causing soul-searching in car-dependent parts of America.

In some areas, employers have allowed staff to compress their workload into intensive four-day weeks to reduce commuting costs. Several towns have switched police patrols onto bicycles, charities have had to cut back on meals on wheels and rail services have reported a surge in passenger numbers.