Midwest Gasoline Climbs to Three-Week High on Wood River

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline in the Midwest strengthened to a three-week high against futures on the outage of a crude unit at an Illinois refinery.

Phillips 66 shut a pipestill for repairs at the 365,000-barrel-a-day Wood River, Illinois, plant, after an electrical fire Jan. 12. The unit restarted today, said Rich Johnson, a Houston-based spokesman for the company. The refinery is the second-largest in the Midwest, behind BP Plc’s Whiting, Indiana, plant.

Conventional gasoline in the Midcontinent, or Group 3 region, rose 6.75 cents a gallon against futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a discount of 24.25 cents at 4:30 p.m., the smallest gap since Dec. 19.

Conventional gasoline to be blended with ethanol, or CBOB, in Chicago gained 2.25 cents against futures to a discount of 24 cents, the smallest gap in a month.

Inventories of motor fuel in the Midwest, known as PADD 2, rose by 3.13 million barrels to 55.3 million in the week ended Jan. 4, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s the most since March 2, the data showed.

Crude supplies in the region, which includes the storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, added 1.77 million barrels to 115.1 million last week, the highest level in EIA records dating to 1990. The EIA is part of the Energy Department.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the Group 3 area was unchanged at 3.25 cents below heating oil futures. The same fuel rose 1.5 cents to a discount of 12.5 cents in Chicago.

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