Gulf Coast Gasoline Weakens as BP Texas City Starts Cat Cracker

Gulf Coast gasoline weakened for a fourth day after BP Plc (BP) started a fluid catalytic cracker at the Texas City refinery in Texas.

The startup of the No. 1 FCCU may cause the plant to flare gases through today, the company said in a Jan. 22 filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Gulf Coast (MOSGC87P) widened 0.25 cent to 3.25 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:10 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery fell 0.49 cent to $2.7495 a gallon.

The Texas City refinery can process 475,000 barrels of feedstock a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The catalytic cracker tripped offline at 11:23 a.m. Jan. 20 “due to the loss of a blower,” BP said in a separate filing with the commission.

Chicago gasoline weakened to the lowest level in almost three years on rising inventories in the region.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Chicago (CHCG87PC) increased 2 cents to 31 cents a gallon versus futures. It’s the largest discount since March 4, 2008.

Gasoline inventories in the Midwest, known as the Padd 2 region, rose 2.3 percent last week to 54.7 million barrels, the Energy Department reported yesterday. Supplies have climbed six of the past seven weeks to the highest level since Feb. 25.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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