Gulf Gasoline Climbs to 9-Day High on Refinery Upsets

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened relative to futures to a nine-day high as refineries operated by Citgo Petroleum Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) reported shutdowns or faults.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the region advanced 0.75 cent to 20.5 cents a gallon below New York Mercantile Exchange futures at 2:02 p.m., the strongest level since Oct. 28, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, rose 0.12 cent to 21.13 cents a gallon below futures.

Citgo said it halted a reformer following a fire at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery, and Exxon said it planned to flare yesterday because of a unit shutdown at the Chalmette plant, also in Louisiana. Shell’s Deer Park, Texas, site discovered a leak on a pump this week, according to the company, which declined to provide the status of the unit.

The three sites have a combined capacity of 980,700 barrels a day, or about 11 percent of U.S. Gulf Coast refining volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Energy Information Administration.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in the region, a measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, added $1.21 to $9.93 a barrel, a second consecutive gain, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil, the Gulf Coast benchmark, rose 56 cents to $6.03 a barrel.

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