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N.Y. Gasoline Premium Weakens as Refinery Maintenance Ends

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Spot gasoline in New York Harbor weakened after a Canadian refinery that supplies fuel to the East Coast restarted a unit following maintenance.

Irving Oil Corp. finished maintenance on a residual fluid catalytic cracker at its Saint John refinery in New Brunswick, Lesley Dickson, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. The unit at the 300,000-barrel-a-day refinery “is fully operational,” Dickson said.

The premium for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in New York Harbor fell 2.5 cents to 4.25 cents over futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:24 p.m. local time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery fell 4.5 cents to $2.3746 a gallon.

The Saint John refinery exports about 175,000 barrels of petroleum products a day to markets in the northeastern U.S., including New York Harbor, the delivery point of the Nymex gasoline and heating oil contracts.

The discount for the same fuel in the Gulf Coast narrowed 1.9 cents to 3 cents at 4:11 p.m. The grade rose 0.86 cent to $2.3117 a gallon.

Exxon Mobil Corp. began maintenance on a “process unit” at its Chalmette refinery in Louisiana, according to a message left on the company’s community hot line.

“There will be a slight impact on production,” Kevin Allexon, a spokesman for the Irving, Texas-based company, said in an e-mail today. The refinery is a joint venture with Petroleos de Venezuela SA and has a capacity of 200,700 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Midwest Market

The discount for conventional, 87-octane fuel in the Midwest, or Group 3, market narrowed 0.38 cent to 5.13 cents a gallon. The grade fell 0.64 cent to $2.2907 a gallon.

BP Plc started a fluid catalytic cracker at its Whiting refinery in Indiana, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The unit was started at the end of last week, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information is not public.

The discount for the same fuel in Chicago tightened 0.25 cent to 9.25 cents, while the grade dropped 0.76 cent to $2.2495 a gallon.

Valero Energy Corp. started a fluid catalytic cracker at its Memphis, Tennessee, refinery over the weekend, Bill Day, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. The unit is increasing to planned rates, Day said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Zee in San Francisco at szee@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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