Oil prices go up, oil prices go down

Demand for oil fell in the first half of this year. How have Americans changed their consumption?
By Amara Rozgus August 13, 2008

According to a Reuters story, U.S. oil demand during the first half of 2008 fell by an average 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared with the same period a year ago, the biggest volume decline in 26 years, the Energy Information Administration said on Aug. 12.

In its latest monthly energy forecast, the EIA said the huge drop in demand was due to slower U.S. economic growth and the impact of high petroleum prices.

The drop in U.S. oil demand helped offset a 1.3-million bpd increase in petroleum consumption in nonindustrial countries during the first half of the year.

As a result, preliminary data shows that global oil consumption rose by 500,000 bpd in the six-month period, the EIA said.

The Energy Department’s analytical arm sees continued falling oil demand, and for the first time is predicting that U.S. petroleum consumption in 2009 will be lower than this year, which would mark a drop in annual demand for three years straight.

So what does this mean to the average American and for commercial construction? Check out Michael Ivanovich’s blog Rollercoaster Energy Prices vs. Conservation Momentum where he looks at how oil prices went up long enough to catalyze lasting changes to America’s energy consumption patterns.