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Gulf Gasoline Weakens on Valero, Phillips 66 Activity

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March 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened against futures for the first time in three days as Phillips 66 and Valero Energy Corp. returned units to service at refineries in Texas.

Valero’s Port Arthur plant boosted equipment to planned rates following a power interruption, said Bill Day, a San Antonio-based company spokesman, who didn’t specify which units were involved. A 57,000-barrel-a-day hydrocracker is still shut for compressor repairs, he said in an e-mail today.

Phillips 66 yesterday completed maintenance on the No. 40 fluid catalytic converter’s wet gas compressor at the Borger refinery. The work was expected to last from March 4 to March 11, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline on the Gulf weakened 0.62 cent to a discount of 19.25 cents a gallon below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:52 p.m. Reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, slid 0.5 cent to a discount of 16.25 cents a gallon. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel was at a 6-cent premium to heating oil futures after falling 1.5 cents.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a measure of refining profitability for gasoline and diesel fuel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, slipped $1.02 to $31.21 a barrel. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil dropped $1.73 to $10.71 a barrel.

The Borger and Port Arthur refineries have a combined capacity of 456,000 barrels per day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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