Gasoline Jumps to Three-Week High as Outages May Reduce Stocks

Gasoline jumped to a three-week high as unscheduled refinery shutdowns from Canada to Texas will crimp supplies before the Sept. 2 U.S. Labor Day holiday.

Futures rose as much as 1.6 percent after Irving Oil Corp.’s Saint John refinery in New Brunswick shut a fluid catalytic cracker, according to Genscape Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based energy information provider. Motiva Enterprises LLC reduced rates at its Convent, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas, plants after fires shut units.

“The market is very nervous going into the weekend because of all these refinery issues,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Gasoline for September delivery rose 2.04 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.9852 a gallon at 10:09 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on trading volume that was 70 percent above 100-day average. Prices are up 0.6 percent this week.

Total U.S. gasoline inventories fell 4.03 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Supplies on the East Coast, which includes New York Harbor, the delivery point for gasoline and diesel contracts, slipped 2.74 million barrels to 58.5 million, the lowest since March 29.

“We saw a big draw in gasoline this week, there’s the idea that some refineries are offline and next weekend is a holiday,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Crack Spreads

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude widened 93 cents to $15.11 a barrel. The fuel’s premium over Brent rose 37 cents to $9.68.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, rose 0.2 cent to $3.536 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 18.2 cents below a year earlier.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery rose 1.2 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.0819 a gallon on trading volume that was 14 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are little changed this week.

ULSD’s crack spread versus WTI rose 84 cents to $24.91 a barrel. The premium over Brent widened 26 cents to $19.46.

To contact the reporters on this story: Barbara Powell in Dallas at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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