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Gulf Gasoline Strengthens After Exxon Refinery Isolates Pipeline

Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened after Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 584,000-barrel-a-day Baytown refinery in Texas isolated a pipe with a hole in it.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Gulf Coast narrowed 1.95 cents to 5.8 cents a gallon below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York at 12:37 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery fell 1.42 cents to $2.4154 a gallon.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon found a hole in a pipe at the Baytown refinery yesterday that resulted in emissions from a gofiner unit, which removes sulfur from feedstock, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “The unit never came down so we are operational,” Neely Nelson, a spokeswoman at the refinery, said in an e-mail.

“Baytown has got to be the reason, or some other local refinery glitch,” Phil Flynn, an analyst with PFGBest in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “I can’t imagine any other reason we’d be up because, if anything, we should be lower.”

The same fuel in New York Harbor was unchanged at 2.75 cents above gasoline futures, and the fuel in Chicago was unchanged at a discount of 11.63 cents.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Midwest, or Group 3, narrowed for the first time in 13 days, by 1.38 cents to 3.25 cents below futures. The fuel touched the lowest level since August yesterday.

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