Chicago Gasoline Weakens Ninth Straight Day as Refineries Return

Chicago gasoline on the spot market weakened against futures for a ninth consecutive day to the lowest level since April 11 after refineries in the area returned from planned maintenance.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline tumbled 21 cents to 13 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:40 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The spread has fallen every day since reaching a record 54-cent-a-gallon premium on June 3.

Exxon Mobil Corp. completed a plantwide turnaround last week at its Joliet, Illinois, refinery. BP Plc has said it will restart by the end of this month its Whiting, Indiana, refinery’s Pipestill 12, which has been shut since November to convert it into a processor of mostly heavy Canadian crude oil.

“Exxon was out there buying last week and now we’re hearing they’re selling it,” said Jim Mosby, partner at ADMO Energy LLC, a supply consultant in Kansas City, Kansas.

The major oil refineries serving the Chicago market are Exxon Joliet; Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Lemont, Illinois, refinery; BP Plc’s Whiting, Indiana, plant; the Phillips 66 site in Roxana, Illinois; and Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Robinson, Illinois, plant.

Inventories in the area climbed 855,000 barrels to 49.2 million in the week ended June 7 after falling to the lowest level since November last month, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, slid $6.39 to $22.18 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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