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N.Y. Gasoline Reaches Highest Since 2008 on Tight Supply

Spot gasoline in New York jumped to the highest level in almost four years as supplies tightened after Hurricane Isaac shut Gulf Coast refineries.

Prices increased as stockpiles of blending components in the Gulf Coast, which include reformulated blendstock, or RBOB, fell 1.8 million barrels to 53.7 million barrels, Energy Department data showed. The Gulf Coast delivered 57 percent of East Coast gasoline supply in June.

“Gulf coast blending components went down,” said Sander Cohan, a global transportation fuels analyst and principal with Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts. “That will put pressure on inventories which were already a little tight heading into the hurricane.”

The premium for RBOB in New York Harbor rose 12.12 cents to 35 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:58 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the highest level since Sept. 16, 2008. Prompt delivery rose 17.11 cents to $3.3909 a gallon.

Gasoline inventories on the East Coast increased 379,000 barrels to 49.8 million, according to the Energy Department, the lowest seasonal level since 2007.

Valero Energy Corp.’s St. Charles and Meraux refineries in Louisiana are “progressing as expected” in their restarts after Isaac, Bill Day a spokesman for the company in San Antonio, said in an e-mail. Phillips 66’s Alliance plant is restarting after losing power Sept. 5 for the second time in about a week.

The premium for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Gulf Coast rose 3 cents to 12 cents a gallon versus futures.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA will resume normal operations at its 645,000-barrel-a-day Amuay oil refinery in about a week after an Aug. 25 explosion knocked the country’s largest plant offline, Jesus Luongo, head of refining, said yesterday.

“Amuay could definitely be a factor” in depleting overall gasoline supplies, Cohan said.

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