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Gulf Coast Fuels Weaken as Texas Refinery Restores Production

April 5 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline and diesel on the spot market in the U.S. Gulf Coast weakened as Royal Dutch Shell Plc prepared to resume fuel production at its Deer Park refinery in Texas after a month-long turnaround.

The 340,000-barrel-a-day plant near Houston is restarting units and is expected to be at full rates by as early as this weekend, said a person with knowledge of the work, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

The refinery was scheduled to begin work March 4 on a crude unit, coker and a sulfur recovery unit, a person with direct knowledge of the schedule said Feb. 15.

Reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, in the region weakened by 0.62 cent to 7 cents a gallon less than futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:03 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The premium for ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the Gulf shrunk by 0.25 cent to 0.5 cents a gallon more than Nymex futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 71 cents to $22.42 a barrel. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil rose 19 cents to $7.32 a barrel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

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

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