Crude oil, heating oil and gasoline declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military, reducing concern that crude shipments from the Middle East will be disrupted. Ethanol also slipped.
Crude oil for March delivery declined $1.15 to settle at $85.58 a barrel on the Nymex, the lowest closing price since Nov. 30. The spread between Brent crude, the European benchmark, and Nymex-traded West Texas Intermediate rose $1.71 to $15.85, a record high based on settlement prices.
Gasoline for March delivery dropped 0.46 cent to $2.4652 a gallon on the Nymex as higher temperatures were projected for much of the U.S. from Feb. 16 to Feb. 24. The March gasoline crack spread rose 96 cents to $17.96.
“The dramatic upshift in temperatures should lead to a return in gasoline demand,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago.
Heating oil for March delivery fell 1.49 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $2.6958 on the Nymex. The heating oil crack spread, based on March contracts, widened 52 cents to $27.64 a barrel.
Denatured ethanol for March delivery declined 1 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $2.465 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Ethanol has gained 43 percent in the past year.
Refineries and Transport
Hovensa LLC reported a “major” fire at the Allick container port, next to the St. Croix refinery in the Virgin Islands, according to an alert from the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
Explorer Pipeline Co. canceled Cycle 5 on its oil products pipeline because a destination “couldn’t handle” product, Tom Jensen, a spokesman for the line, said in a telephone interview. The pipeline isn’t experiencing operational issues, he said.
ConocoPhillips reported that a flare smoked yesterday at its Ponca City refinery in Oklahoma because of frigid weather, according to a filing with the state.