Gulf Gasoline Regbounds as Motiva Shuts Units in Texas

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Gulf Coast gasoline rebounded from the largest discount in more than three weeks after Motiva Enterprises LLC shut units at the nation’s biggest refinery.

The 600,000-barrel-a-day Port Arthur, Texas, plant shut down some units on July 19 because of “adverse weather conditions,” said Destin Singleton, a Houston-based spokeswoman for the refinery. She did not provide details.

A fluid catalytic cracker remains shut for repairs at Valero Energy Corp.’s refinery in Port Arthur, said Bill Day, a San Antonio-based company spokesman. The plant has the capacity to process about 310,000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, on the Gulf Coast strengthened 1.75 cents to a discount of 25.5 cents a gallon below New York Mercantile Exchange futures at 12:19 p.m. The differential widened to a discount of 27.5 cents on June 19 after a government report showed regional gasoline stockpiles rose to a five-month high.

Gasoline inventories in the area, known as PADD 3, rose 2.06 million barrels to 78.2 million in the week ended July 12, the highest level since Feb. 8, the Energy Information Administration reported last week. Gulf refiners processed 8.67 million barrels of crude and other feedstock during the same time period, the data showed.

Production may climb further as a new 57,000-barrel-a-day hydrocracker reached planned rates at Valero’s St. Charles, Louisiana, refinery. Total SA’s 174,000-barrel-a-day Port Arthur plant returned to normal operations after a power failure.

Gulf-Chicago

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped 51 cents to $14.01 a barrel. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil slipped 9 cents to $7.35 a barrel, a fourth consecutive drop, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Gulf Coast-Chicago gasoline spread narrowed by 8.6 cents to 5.16 cents, compared with 13.75 cents on July 19.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, in Chicago weakened 6.5 cents to 20 cents a gallon below Nymex futures, the lowest since June 21.

“I’m not sure who is selling the CBOB but they are killing it,” said Steve Mosby, president of ADMO Energy LLC in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the region was unchanged at a 7.5-cent discount.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, based on WTI, dropped $2.92 to $14.91 a barrel, the lowest since Jan. 16, 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: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net