Chicago Gas Reaches 3-Week High as Plant Work Dims Supply

Chicago gasoline strengthened to the highest level in three weeks as Phillips 66 and BP Plc conducted maintenance amid an erosion of the area’s supplies.

Phillips 66’s Wood River, Illinois, refinery, has been conducting a turnaround on several units since late February, according to the company. BP was working on a desulfurization unit at its Whiting, Indiana, plant a person familiar with operations said March 4, without adding how long it would take.

With a combined capacity of 776,000 barrels a day, Wood River and Whiting are the two largest refineries in the Midwest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The work may be drawing from Midwest supplies of motor fuel, which slipped to 53.8 million barrels in the week ended March 8, Energy Information Administration data showed.

The discount for conventional, 85-octane gasoline in Chicago, or CBOB, gained 7.5 cents 13 cents a gallon below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:39 p.m., the narrowest differential since Feb. 22. Conventional gasoline in the Midcontinent, or Group 3 region, rose 1.25 cent to trade at a discount of 23.75 cents.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a measure of refining profitability for gasoline and diesel fuel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, increased $2.39 to $33.71 a barrel, a second consecutive advance, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Group 3 crack spread rose for the first time in five days, climbing 61 cents to $30.84 a barrel.