Gulf Gasoline Falls on Limited Impact From Storm Karen

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened for a second day after Tropical Storm Karen passed the region with limited impact on refinery operations.

Conventional, 85-octane blendstock, or CBOB, dropped 0.25 cent to 14.5 cents below below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:33 p.m. RBOB slid 1 cent to a discount of 14.75 cents.

Karen, downgraded to a depression as it headed for Florida on Oct. 6, prompted a reduction in rates at Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Norco, Louisiana, refinery, last week as the storm slowed oil shipments.

Chevron Corp.’s (CVX) Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery returned to normal operations, while Phillips 66’s Alliance plant and Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Chalmette refinery, both in Louisiana, were unaffected by the storm.

“That was the most action we had in the refining system all year,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “It was a non-event but there was still plenty of hype.”

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf Coast, a measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, gained $1.38 to $7.85 a barrel. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil, the Gulf Coast benchmark, rose 48 cents to $3.85 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel on the Gulf Coast dropped 0.15 cent to 5.15 cents a gallon below Nymex futures. The same fuel gained 0.02 cent to a premium of 0.85 cent in New York Harbor.

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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