Chicago Gasoline Strengthens on Exxon Joliet, BP Whiting

Chicago gasoline strengthened for a third day after Exxon Mobil Corp. reported an incident at its Joliet refinery in Illinois and a crude unit was shut at BP Plc’s Whiting, Indiana, plant.

The 238,000-barrel-a-day Joliet refinery released gasoline and heavier materials from a coker today, according to Tricia Simpson, a company spokeswoman. BP Whiting’s smallest crude unit, with the capacity to process 80,000 barrels, was reported yesterday to be shut.

Conventional gasoline to be blended with ethanol in Chicago gained 5.5 cents to a 13-cent discount versus New York futures at 2:36 p.m. The climb follows yesterday’s 19-cent advance, which was the largest increase since Aug. 27.

Joliet and Whiting, with a combined capacity of 658,000 barrels a day, account for 18 percent of production in the Midwest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Fuel supplies in the region shrank by 944,000 barrels last week to 47.6 million, the lowest level since June, Energy Department data show.

In the West Coast market, California-grade, or Carbob, gasoline was unchanged at a 10-cent premium in Los Angeles and at parity with futures in San Francisco.

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