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N.Y. Gasoline Weakens as Winter Fuel Inventory Selloff Starts

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- New York gasoline weakened as inventories of the winter blend of the fuel are sold to make room in storage tanks for summer grade.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in New York Harbor widened 1.38 cents to 0.38 cent a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:46 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery fell 4.52 cents to $3.0119 a gallon.

“There is a lot of winter-grade gasoline in inventory that has to be liquidated by the middle of April,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by phone.

The same fuel in the Gulf Coast narrowed its discount 0.38 cent to 2.5 cents a gallon versus futures.

Marathon Petroleum Co. experienced an upset in Unit 15 at the Garyville refinery in Louisiana yesterday that resulted in a release of sulfur dioxide, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The upset at the 460,000-barrel-a-day plant began at 6 a.m. and lasted 45 minutes, Tim Beckstrom, a department spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Chicago gasoline strengthened 12.5 cents to a discount of 40.5 cents a gallon. The fuel has rebounded since dropping to the lowest level since at least 1996 on Feb. 15.

The same fuel in the Midwest, or Group 3, narrowed its discount 1.63 cents to 12.5 cents a gallon.

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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