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Gulf Gasoline Falls as Citgo Lake Charles Refinery Runs Normally

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened after Citgo Petroleum Corp. said its Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery was operating normally and would restart a unit by the end of the month.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline on the Gulf slumped 1.25 cents to 11.5 cents a gallon below New York Mercantile Exchange futures at 2:51 p.m. after climbing yesterday to a one-month high. Conventional, 85.5-octane gasoline, or CBOB, dropped 0.25 cent to a discount of 12.75 cents a gallon, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Citgo’s 440,000-barrel-a-day Lake Charles refinery is running under normal conditions and expected to return a reformer to service before December, the company said yesterday. The “A” reformer shut Nov. 7 when a fire broke out in its heater, according to the company.

Phillips 66’s Lake Charles refinery completed planned maintenance yesterday, while the company’s Borger, Texas, plant is expected to wrap up planned work this week. The three sites have a combined capacity of 825,000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel on the Gulf Coast was unchanged at a discount of 8.63 cents a gallon.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped 72 cents to $16.85 a gallon. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil, the Gulf Coast benchmark, fell $1.67 to $13.20 a barrel, the first decline in nine days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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