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U.S. Gulf Gasoline Climbs a Second Day After Port Arthur Upset

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline climbed for a second day after a unit upset at Total SA’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery signaled a slowdown in production.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, in the region rose 3.75 cents to a discount of 20.75 cents a gallon versus futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:33 p.m., the narrowest differential since Nov. 25, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Conventional, 87-octane gasoline gained 2.5 cents to a discount of 19.5 cents a gallon.

Total SA on Dec. 13 reported an upset in “unit 860” at the 174,000-barrel-a-day Port Arthur plant. Motiva Enterprises LLC said it restarted operations following maintenance at a Port Arthur refinery, while Valero Energy Corp. reported planned work on a Port Arthur naphtha hydrotreater.

The three plants have a combined capacity of 1.08 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Production of gasoline along the U.S. Gulf Coast slipped 7,000 barrels a day to 2.11 million in the week ended Dec. 6, a third consecutive decline, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed 83 cents to $11.57 a barrel. The same spread, based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil, the Gulf Coast benchmark, advanced 13 cents to $6.41 a barrel, 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: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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