Chicago Fuels Slide as Husky Restarts Lima Refinery in Ohio

Chicago diesel fuel and gasoline weakened relative to futures as Husky Energy Inc. (HSE) began starting units after suspending operations at its Lima, Ohio, refinery.

Ultra low sulfur diesel in Chicago slid 2.25 cents to 14.75 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:59 p.m., the weakest level since Jan. 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, dropped 1.5 cents to a discount of 9 cents a gallon versus gasoline futures.

Husky said the 160,000-barrel-a-day Lima plant would probably return to normal operations within a few days. The refinery experienced a power outage yesterday following a failure on the site’s transformer, according to Mel Duvall, a company spokesman based in Calgary.

Citgo Petroleum Corp. was expected to restart a vacuum distillation unit at its 170,500-barrel-a-day Lemont, Illinois, plant after Jan. 15. The unit has been shut since a fire Oct. 23, according to the company.

Normal operations at the two plants would add to refined product stockpiles in the U.S. Midwest, known as PADD 2. Distillate inventories in the region were 29.9 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 3, while gasoline supplies were 52.1 million barrels, Energy Information Administration data show.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped $1.02 to $18.32 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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