Gulf Gasoline Falls to Two-Week Low Against Futures

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline fell to a two-week low against New York futures as Valero Energy Corp. said it was returning process units to service at a Texas plant.

A sulfur recovery unit tripped offline at Valero’s 145,000-barrel-a-day Houston refinery because of severe weather early today, said Bill Day, a company spokesman in San Antonio. The plant was flaring at about 9 a.m. local time as process units were being returned to service.

“There was no material impact to protection,” Day said in an e-mail responding to questions.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, on the Gulf Coast retreated 0.25 cent to a discount of 18.5 cents a gallon to futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:16 p.m. That’s the sixth consecutive decline and the lowest level since April 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel was unchanged at 3.25 cents a gallon below futures.

Stockpiles of gasoline on the U.S. Gulf Coast, known as PADD 3, gained 919,000 barrels to 72.6 million barrels in the week ended May 3, the first increase in five weeks, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Inventories of distillate fuel rose 81,000 barrels to 36.3 million.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf Coast, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, jumped 47 cents to $22.16 a barrel. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil rose 32 cents to $12.76 a barrel, a fifth consecutive gain.

The crack spread in New York, measured using Brent oil in Europe, tumbled $1.58 to $16.29 a barrel. Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline, or RBOB, in the New York Harbor strengthened 0.2 cent to 0.1 cent below futures.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in New York was unchanged at a premium of 1.13 cents a gallon above futures.

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