U.S. Gulf Gasoline Falls a 3rd Day on Refinery Operations

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened for a third day, falling to an 11-day low against futures, as operations returned to normal at Texas refineries owned by Valero Energy Corp. and Motiva Enterprises LLC.

Valero’s Port Arthur plant experienced no material impact to operations after a system upset resulted in flaring yesterday, according to Bill Day, a San Antonio-based company spokesman. The refinery has a capacity of 310,000 barrels a day.

Motiva’s 600,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Port Arthur, the biggest in the U.S., began restarting units last week after an area power failure led to a shutdown of the plant on April 14.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline on the Gulf slid 3.75 cents to 20.25 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:10 p.m., the lowest level since April 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. CBOB’s discount has increased 7.25 cents in two days, the biggest widening since February. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel weakened 0.25 cent to 2.25 cents below futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refinery margins for gasoline and diesel fuel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, retreated $1.91 to $22.88 a barrel, a second consecutive decline. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet also slid for a second day, falling $1.11 to $10.88 a barrel.

Gulf Coast gasoline traded 40.81 cents below the same fuel in Chicago, 19 cents less than yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Spot gasoline in Chicago weakened 3.5 cents to a premium of 21 cents a gallon above Nymex futures, while ultra-low-sulfur diesel slid 2 cents to a premium of 15 cents.

Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Lemont, Illinois, refinery returned a flare gas compressor to service after the unit shut down on April 21, according to a company official. The plant has a capacity of 170,500 barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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