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Chicago Gasoline Weakens to Record Discount on Inventory Glut

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Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago gasoline weakened to a record low level with regional inventories at a 23-month high, even as a surge in the price of crude oil from North Dakota and Canada used by Midwest refiners may cause production to decline.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Chicago widened 2 cents to 52 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:36 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the lowest level since at least 1996. Prompt delivery slipped 4.98 cents to $2.4627 a gallon.

Syncrude oil surged the most on record against West Texas Intermediate after Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said its Horizon oil sands upgrader may be out of service until late March. Western Canadian Select and Bakken oil from North Dakota also strengthened.

Canadian oils used by Midwest refiners have been at record discounts to West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, increasing profits from producing fuel. Gasoline inventories in the Midwest rose to the highest level since March 2010, the Energy Department reported Feb. 8.

Canadian Natural cut its Horizon production forecast for the year to 93,000 to 100,000 barrels a day, from 105,000 to 115,000.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net.

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

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