P.M. BRIEFING : U.S. Oil Demand Falls Off 2.6%

From Times Wire Services

Overall U.S. oil demand dropped 2.6% in November from year-ago levels in face of higher fuel prices and the slowing economy, the American Petroleum Institute said today.

The United States is the world’s largest oil-consuming nation and the No. 2 oil producer after the Soviet Union.

Demand for most major petroleum products, such as gasoline and home-heating oil, declined in November, the oil industry trade group said in its monthly report, but deliveries of kerosene jet fuel reached record levels for this time of year.

Domestic crude production slipped 6% in November from a year ago, partly reflecting an ouptut slowdown from Alaska’s North Slope caused by stormy weather at the Port of Valdez.