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Chicago Gasoline Rebounds on Work at BP Midwest Plants

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago gasoline strengthened against New York futures after BP Plc was said to shut units at two Midwest refineries.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, in Chicago gained 2.5 cents to a premium of 6 cents a gallon to futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:37 p.m. after yesterday falling to a two-week low. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel added 0.5 cent to 1 cent a gallon below futures.

Differentials widened after BP was said to shut a 66,000-barrel-a-day reformer at the Whiting, Indiana, refinery, the largest in the U.S. Midwest. A coker was also shut at the company’s Toledo, Ohio, plant, according to a person familiar with operations.

Reformers convert heavy naphtha into high-octane blendstocks. Crackers convert residual oil into higher-value light products and feedstocks. The two plants have a combined capacity of 580,000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, swelled 79 cents to $14.17 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The same spread in Group 3, a region spanning north from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Minnesota and North Dakota, declined 20 cents to $15.81. Spot gasoline weakened in the area as CVR Energy Inc. restarted a fluid catalytic cracker at its Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Group 3 retreated 1 cent to a premium of 10 cents a gallon, the lowest level since Aug. 30. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel strengthened 0.37 cent to 2.75 cents above ULSD futures.

FCCs process vacuum gasoil into higher-value gasoline and other lighter products. The Coffeyville refinery has a capacity of 120,000 barrels a day.

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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