Gulf Gasoline Hits Six-Week Low on Phillips Sweeny Start

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline weakened for a fourth day against futures, falling to the lowest level in five weeks, after Phillips 66 completed a restart of the Sweeny, Texas, refinery. Crack spreads narrowed.

The 247,000-barrel-a-day Sweeny plant is operational after a power failure May 11 caused the plant to shut temporarily and flare gases, according to Rich Johnson, a company spokesman based in Houston.

The discount for conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, on the Gulf weakened 1.25 cents to 21.75 cents a gallon versus futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:09 p.m., the widest differential since April 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline, or RBOB, dropped 1.25 cents to a discount of 0.25 cent a gallon.

Supplies of motor fuel in the region, known as PADD 3, gained 1.78 million barrels to 74.4 million barrels in the week ended May 10, a second consecutive advance, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Area stockpiles of distillate fuel rose 3.36 million barrels to 39.7 million, the biggest increase since 2008.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel on the Gulf Coast slipped 0.25 cent to a discount of 5.25 cents against futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf Coast, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped 75 cents to $21.55 a barrel. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil fell 70 cents to $10.75.

BP Toledo

Gulf Coast gasoline was at a discount of 50.81 cents to the same fuel in Group 3, which includes states north of Tulsa, Oklahoma to Minnesota and North Dakota, and 57.81 cents below Chicago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Conventional gasoline in the area weakened 10.5 cents to a premium of 38 cents a gallon, while CBOB strengthened by 0.5 cents to 36.5 cents a gallon over Nymex futures.

BP Plc’s Toledo, Ohio, refinery finished a four-week maintenance turnaround on an alkylation unit, a person with knowledge of the work said. The unit, which produces a high-octane blending component for gasoline, was expected to begin restarting yesterday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Stockpiles of motor fuel in the U.S. Midwest, known as PADD 2, dropped 898,000 barrels to 47.8 million barrels last week, the lowest level since Nov. 30, according to EIA data.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Group 3, based on WTI, slipped $3.50 to $37.83 a barrel. The same spread in Chicago fell 77 cents to $39.44 a barrel, according to Bloomberg data.

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