Chicago Fuels Rally Amid Marathon Catlettsburg Maintenance Plans

Chicago gasoline and diesel strengthened against futures on plans for Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) to shut units at its Kentucky refinery.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel gained 0.75 cent to 3.25 cents above futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:39 p.m., the strongest level since June 14. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, moved to a 5-cent-a-gallon premium to futures from a 3-cent discount Sept. 13.

Two state filings showed that Marathon’s Catlettsburg, Kentucky, refinery was scheduled to shut a distillate desulfurization unit today, a hydrogen system tomorrow and a crude unit and several others on Sept. 23. A fluid catalytic cracker was expected to shut Sept. 15 for 45 days of work, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said last week.

Jamal Kheiry, a spokesman for Marathon in Findlay, Ohio, declined to comment on the maintenance plans.

The Catlettsburg refinery, in northeastern Kentucky on the Big Sandy River, has a capacity of 240,000 barrels a day. The plant processes a wide range of both sweet and sour crude oils and distributes products by pipeline, barge, truck and rail, according to Marathon’s website.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped 57 cents to $12.01 a barrel, a third consecutive decline and lowest level since February 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harvey in New York at

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

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