Gasoline Slips as Brent Weakens With Seasonal Maintenance Ending

Gasoline and diesel fell as Brent tumbled and seasonal maintenance in the U.S. was poised to taper over the next few weeks.

Futures slipped as reports that Libya was producing more oil sent Brent crude lower. The U.S. fall maintenance season typically peaks in October and refiners begin bringing units back just as gasoline demand may weaken in colder weather.

“Indications that more Libyan oil may return to the market in the next two weeks is pressuring Brent and taking gasoline and diesel fuel down with it,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “The market is also looking ahead over next few weeks as refiners return from maintenance in the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

Gasoline for December delivery fell 2.54 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.5616 a gallon at 9:30 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 22 percent below the 100-day average. Prices were little changed last month, dropping 0.1 cent.

Brent for December delivery on the ICE Futures Europe exchange declined $1.55, or 1.4 percent, to $107.29 a barrel.

Libya was producing 350,000 to 400,000 barrels a day, Ibrahim Al Awami, the oil ministry’s head of measurement and inspection, said by phone yesterday, or about 100,000 barrels a day more than earlier this week.

Maintenance Ends

Phillips 66 (PSX) said yesterday that it completed maintenance at its 146,000-barrel-a-day Borger, Texas, refinery. Delta Air Lines Inc.’s Monroe Energy LLC subsidiary said yesterday that it was operating the fluid catalytic cracker at its 185,000-barrel-a-day Trainer, Pennsylvania, plant after unplanned repairs.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed 21 cents to $12.06 a barrel. The fuel’s spread versus Brent gained 37 cents to an 18-cent premium.

U.S. retail pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 0.4 cent to $3.275 a gallon, the lowest level since Dec. 26, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 23.2 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for December delivery fell 4.21 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.9118 a gallon on trading volume that was 43 percent above the 100-day average. Prices fell 0.1 percent last month.

ULSD’s premium over WTI declined 88 cents to $27.80 a barrel. The spread versus Brent narrowed 28 cents to $14.94.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at

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

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