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Gulf Gasoline Weakens as Supplies Grow to 23-Year High

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened as the region’s inventories rose to the highest level in more than two decades and Motiva Enterprises LLC prepared to start a crude unit at the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery.

Inventories of gasoline on the Gulf Coast, known as PADD 3, gained 1.2 million barrels, or 1.4 percent, to 81.4 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 4, the Energy Department reported yesterday. That’s the highest since the department started collecting data in 1990.

Stockpiles may continue to grow as Motiva prepares to start a 325,000-barrel-a-day crude unit that will almost double processing capacity at the Port Arthur refinery. At full rates, the site would be able to make 240,000 barrels a day of gasoline and 190,000 barrels of diesel, according to the company. The expansion made it the largest plant in the Gulf Coast region, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline on the Gulf retreated 0.25 cent to 11 cents a gallon below futures at 11:59 a.m., the widest gap since Dec. 27. Conventional gasoline also fell 0.25 cent to trade at a discount of 13.5 cents. The same grade to be blended with ethanol on the Gulf slid 1 cent to 16.25 cents below futures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harvey in New York at charvey32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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