Gulf Diesel Advances to One-Week High on Inventory Drop

U.S. Gulf Coast diesel fuel strengthened to the highest level in a week versus futures as regional supplies fell and Exxon Mobil Corp. repaired a leak at its Baton Rouge refinery.

Distillate stockpiles on the U.S. Gulf Coast, referred to as PADD 3, declined 493,000 barrels to 39.2 million in the week ended May 17, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

Exxon’s 503,500-barrel-a-day Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery is conducting repairs after a leak associated with sulfur plant operations, the company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The discount for ultra-low-sulfur diesel on the Gulf Coast narrowed 0.38 cent to 4.25 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:12 p.m., the strongest since May 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, advanced 0.25 cent to 24 cents a gallon under futures.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 36 cents to $19.78 a barrel. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil gained 64 cents to $11.53.