Gulf Coast Gasoline Weakens as Valero Finishes Turnaround

Spot gasoline weakened on the U.S. Gulf Coast after Valero Energy Corp. said it completed maintenance at a refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Valero’s 210,000-barrel-a-day Corpus Christi West plant finished a turnaround on a heavy oil cracker and is increasing the unit toward planned rates, according to Bill Day, a San Antonio-based spokesman for the company. A fluid catalytic cracker at Valero’s Texas City plant restarted after maintenance commenced around March 6.

Conventional gasoline on the Gulf Coast retreated 0.12 cent to 25.75 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:36 a.m. on the East Coast. Reformulated gasoline was unchanged at a discount of 21.5 cents a gallon. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel strengthened 0.25 cent to trade 8.25 cents a gallon above heating oil futures.

The completion of turnarounds at the two Valero refineries may add to Gulf Coast motor fuel supplies. Inventories declined 2.1 million barrels to 73.4 million in the week ended March 1, the lowest level since Oct. 26, according to Energy Information Administration data.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a measure of refining profitability for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, increased $1.16 to $32.71 a barrel, the highest level since Feb. 26, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil rose $2.36 to $12.71 a barrel.