U.S. total oil demand rose 1.5 percent in February from a year ago as strong demand for gasoline helped offset a steep drop in appetite for distillates, federal data released Friday showed. U.S. oil demand rose 284,000 barrels per day from a year ago to 19.7 million bpd, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Friday. The February figures mark only the second time oil demand has increased year-over-year since August. The demand growth was led by gasoline, which jumped 6.4 percent, or 556,000 bpd, from a year ago to 9.2 million bpd, according to the EIA’s petroleum supply monthly report. The growth, fueled in part by mild February temperatures, represents a rebound from January, when demand for gasoline fell year-over-year for the first time in 14 months. The U.S. Department of Transportation released figures last week that showed U.S. motor travel surged at a record pace […]