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Gulf Gasoline Strengthens to Highest in 3 Weeks on Refinery Work

Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened to the highest level against futures in more than three weeks on refinery maintenance and speculation that increasing exports are tightening supply in the region.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Gulf Coast rose for the third day, climbing 0.37 cent to a discount of 0.63 cent below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:08 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level for the fuel since Oct. 13.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP was nearing the end of a maintenance turnaround at the 58,000-barrel-a-day Shreveport refinery in Louisiana, Derek Daniel, a spokesman for the Indianapolis-based company, said Nov. 4. Several units have been worked on for about two weeks, he said in a telephone interview from the plant.

Alon USA Energy Inc. shut the 83,000-barrel-a-day Krotz Springs refinery in Louisiana earlier this month for work scheduled to run through the first half of November, the Dallas-based company said Nov. 3.

“We’re in the midst of turnarounds,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “We’ve also seen a significant amount of exports continuing to soak up whatever supply the U.S. doesn’t need, and I think that’s going to be a continuing phenomenon into the future.”

Gary-Williams Energy Corp.’s 75,000-barrel-a-day Wynnewood refinery in Oklahoma shut a sulfur recovery unit because of a low flow rate of feed to a process unit, according to a filing with the National Response Center. The unit will be shut for up to five days “until repairs to other parts of the refinery are completed and the process units started up,” the filing showed.

Reformulated, 87-octane gasoline in New York Harbor strengthened 1 cent to a premium of 5.38 cents above futures.

The premium for 87-octane gasoline in the Midwest, or Group 3, fell for the fifth straight day, by 0.25 cent to 3.5 cents over futures. The same fuel in Chicago was unchanged at a premium of 3 cents to futures.

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