Gasoline Falls as Sunoco Unit, Enbridge Pipe May Start

Gasoline declined as Sunoco Inc. may start a fluid catalytic cracker at the largest East Coast refinery and as Enbridge Inc. may reopen an oil pipeline tomorrow that serves the Chicago area.

Futures fell as Sunoco plans to start the catalytic cracker today after shutting it July 23 for unplanned work, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Repairs on Enbridge’s 317,000-barrel-a-day Line 14 may be completed today, a state regulator said late yesterday.

“Restarting some units is giving prices a little bit of a break,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “People were panic buying, particularly in the Chicago cash market. The pipeline coming back online should put some downward pressure on price.”

Gasoline for August delivery fell 2.22 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $2.9146 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures gained 6.9 percent this month.

It’s the first monthly rise since an 11 percent jump in March and the largest July increase since 2009.

The more actively traded September contract declined 4.41 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.7743 a gallon. August gasoline and heating oil contracts expired at the close of floor trading today.

Gasoline inventories probably rose 800,000 barrels last week, the median estimate of 12 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg. Distillate stockpiles probably increased 1.1 million barrels. The Energy Department is scheduled to report last week’s oil supplies at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Washington.

Selling Pressure

“Products are getting selling pressure at expiration and there is the expectation of a build,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.’’

Heating oil for August delivery declined 3.74 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.8417 a gallon, and gained 5.4 percent in July. The September contract fell 3.34 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.848 a gallon.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.4 cents to $3.50 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the highest price since June 17. Prices have fallen 11 percent from a 2012 high of $3.936 on April 4, according to AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization.

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