U.S. Gulf Gasoline Falls a 3rd Day on Refinery Operations

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened for a third day, falling to an 11-day low against futures, as operations returned to normal at Texas refineries owned by Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) and Motiva Enterprises LLC.

Valero’s Port Arthur plant experienced no material impact to operations after a system upset resulted in flaring yesterday, according to Bill Day, a San Antonio-based company spokesman. The refinery has a capacity of 310,000 barrels a day.

Motiva’s 600,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Port Arthur, the biggest in the U.S., began restarting units last week after an area power failure led to a shutdown of the plant on April 14.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline on the Gulf slid 3.75 cents to 20.25 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:59 a.m., the lowest level since April 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. CBOB’s discount has increased 7.25 cents in two days, the biggest widening since February.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel was unchanged at 2 cents below Nymex futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refinery margins for gasoline and diesel fuel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, retreated $1.60 to $23.19 a barrel, a second consecutive decline. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet also slid for a second day, falling $1.05 to $10.94 a barrel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harvey in New York at charvey32@bloomberg.net

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

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