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Gulf Coast Gasoline Strengthens for 4th Day Amid Refinery Issues

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline on the spot market in the Gulf Coast strengthened relative to futures amid refinery unit shut-downs and equipment malfunctions in the region.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. had a compressor trip offline yesterday at the 460,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Garyville, Louisiana. Valero Energy Corp.’s 310,000-barrel-a-day plant in Port Arthur, Texas, worked to repair a fluid catalytic cracker that has been shut since July 12.

Area gasoline supplies fell by 1.27 million barrels last week to 76.9 million, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed yesterday.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline on the Gulf Coast strengthened by 1.63 cents to a 13.75-cent-a-gallon discount to futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:05 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the narrowest the differential has been since July 11.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the Gulf Coast strengthened by 0.45 cent to a discount of 3.5 cents a gallon below ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex, the first time the differential has narrowed since July 16.

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 23 cents to $15.51 a barrel. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil gained 63 cents to $10.16 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net

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