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East Coast Gasoline Surges Amid Wales Refinery Work

Gasoline on the East Coast rose to the highest level in almost two weeks as Valero Energy Corp. shut a crude unit at the Pembroke refinery in Wales and inventories in the region reached a four-year low.

The European plant is shutting all main production units, including a catalytic cracker and a coker, during the maintenance, Bill Day, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. Irving Oil Corp.’s Saint John refinery in New Brunswick, which exports more than half of its production to the U.S. Northeast, had an explosion in a tank at its hydrogen plant during planned work.

East Coast stocks of reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, dropped to 13.7 million barrels, the lowest level since Oct. 3, 2008, according to the Energy Department.

The premium for reformulated, 87-octane gasoline, or RBOB, in New York Harbor, rose 4.88 cents to 19.88 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:58 p.m. It’s the highest level since Sept. 14. Prompt delivery jumped 13.15 cents to $3.2486 a gallon.

The “overpressure” in a carbonate tank Irving’s Saint John plant isn’t expected to affect output because of the maintenance. Irving is conducting work “within select areas” of the plant and expects the maintenance to be completed over the next few weeks, Lesley Dickson, a company spokeswoman, said in a Sept. 19 e-mail.

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