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Gulf Gasoline Falls as Citgo Restores Normal Operations

Gasoline weakened on the Gulf Coast as Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Corpus Christi West plant returned to normal operations and U.S. inventories of motor fuel were forecast to increase.

Citgo today restored power to the west portion of the 165,000-barrel-a-day Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery after a power failure resulted in the shutdown of the sulfur recovery system yesterday, according to filings with state regulators.

Stockpiles of motor fuel in the U.S. probably gained 850,000 barrels in the week ended Dec. 21, according to the median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline on the Gulf Coast fell 2 cents to a discount of 14.5 cents a gallon below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2 p.m. Eastern time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Conventional gasoline to be blended with ethanol in the area dropped 1 cent to a discount of 21 cents.

The discount for ultra-low-sulfur diesel slid 1.6 cents to 6.63 cents below heating oil futures, the widest gap in a week. The same fuel was unchanged in New York at 6 cents above futures, while reformulated gasoline in that region dropped 0.25 cent to trade at a premium of 2.25 cents.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles gained 0.5 cent to 7 cents a gallon over futures. The same fuel in San Francisco slid 0.5 cent to a premium of 4 cents, the second consecutive decline.

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