New York Gasoline Gains as Petroplus May Shut French Refinery

New York gasoline strengthened to its highest level in three weeks as Petroplus Holdings AG said it may begin shutting a refinery in France amid a credit freeze restricting crude supply for the plant.

The 161,800-barrel-a-day Petit Couronne refinery may be forced to stop operations on Jan. 2 along with other plants in Europe, Laurent Patinier, a CFDT union representative, said today by phone. Lower gasoline production could restrict fuel imports to the U.S. East Coast.

Conventional gasoline to be blended with ethanol, or CBOB, in New York Harbor rose 0.63 cent to a 50 cent premium versus gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:56 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the strongest differential since Dec. 6. Prompt delivery fell 3.13 cents to $2.6563 a gallon.

Workers at Petit Couronne have voted to begin a strike today that will block deliveries of oil products, while allowing refinery operations to continue, Patinier said.

Petroplus management indicated that talks with creditors have encountered hurdles and the company’s four other plants in Europe may also be progressively stopped, Patinier said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net

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