Gulf Gasoline Gains to One-Week High on Motiva Crude Unit

Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened the most in a week against futures after Motiva Enterprises LLC was said to be keeping a crude unit shut for another week at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery.

The 600,000-barrel-a-day refinery, the largest in the U.S., will also keep a delayed coker idled until the end of this weekend, two people familiar with operations said yesterday. The units have been down since mid-February for what was originally expected to be 38 days of repairs, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Corpus Christi plant and Phillips 66’s Borger site, both in Texas, are also carrying out maintenance. That may erode the region’s motor fuel supplies of 74.2 million barrels in the week ended March 29, according to Energy Information Administration data.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline on the Gulf narrowed 1.75 cents to 22.75 cents a gallon below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:10 p.m., the smallest differential since March 28, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, in the region increased 1.37 cents to a discount of 6.38 cents a gallon. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fell 0.5 cent to a premium of 0.75 cent a gallon over Nymex futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, advanced 64 cents to $23.13 a barrel, the first increase in six days. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil rose $1.39 to $7.13 a barrel.