Gasoline rose to the highest level this month, following Brent crude higher as protests in Libya disrupted oil exports.
Futures gained as Brent advanced 1.2 percent. Protesters stopped a tanker from docking at the port of Hariga, said Mohamed Elharari, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp. The Zawiya refinery reopened after being shut by protests yesterday, he said. The country’s output in October was down 69 percent from a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey.
“Products are being drawn up by Brent and Brent is reacting to supply disruptions out of Libya,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.
Gasoline for December delivery rose 4.16 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.628 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Oct. 31. Trading volume was 13 percent above the 100-day average at 3:43 p.m.
Brent for December settlement, which expires tomorrow, gained $1.31 to settle at $107.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more-active January contract added $1.35 to $106.89. December Brent traded at a $13.24 premium to West Texas Intermediate crude on Nymex, up from $12.77 yesterday.
“Brent crude is definitely leading the way once again and it’s keeping the products moving as well,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Supplies of gasoline, already the lowest in almost a year, probably declined 900,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate of 11 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg. The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to report inventories for the week ended Nov. 8 tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Washington, a day later than usual because of the Veterans Day holiday Nov. 11.
Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI widened 91 cents to $16.50 a barrel, the highest level since Aug. 16. The fuel’s premium to Brent rose 44 cents to $3.26.
U.S. pump prices, averaged nationwide, rose 0.7 cent to $3.186 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 25.4 cents below a year ago.
Distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, fell 1 million barrels, according to the survey.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for December delivery advanced 4.45 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.8977 a gallon on trading volume that was 1.8 percent above the 100-day average.
ULSD’s premium over WTI widened $1.03 to $27.82 a barrel. The fuel’s crack spread versus Brent increased 56 cents to $14.58.