Gulf Gasoline Hits Six-Week Low on Phillips Sweeny Start

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened for a fourth day, falling to the lowest level in almost six weeks, after Phillips 66 (PSX) completed a restart of its Sweeny, Texas, refinery. Crack spreads widened.

The 247,000-barrel-a-day Sweeny plant is operational after a power failure caused the plant to temporarily shut down and flare gases on May 11, according to Rich Johnson, a company spokesman based in Houston.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, on the Gulf weakened 1.75 cent to 22.25 cents a gallon versus futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:58 a.m., the lowest level since April 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline, or RBOB, dropped 0.75 cent to a premium of 0.25 cent a gallon.

Supplies of motor fuel in the region, known as PADD 3, gained 1.78 million barrels to 74.4 million barrels in the week ended May 10, a second consecutive weekly advance, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Stockpiles of distillate fuel rose 3.36 million barrels to 39.7 million, the biggest increase since 2008.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel on the Gulf Coast slipped 0.25 cent to a discount of 5.25 cents to futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf Coast, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped 70 cents to $21.59 a barrel. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil fell 70 cents to $10.74.

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