Chicago Fuels Rally Amid Marathon Catlettsburg Maintenance Plans

Chicago gasoline and diesel strengthened against futures on plans for Marathon Petroleum Corp. to shut units at its Kentucky refinery.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel gained 1.25 cents to 3.75 cents a gallon above futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:29 p.m., the strongest level since June 14. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, traded at a 3.5-cent premium to Nymex futures after trading at a discount Sept. 13.

Two state filings showed that Marathon’s Catlettsburg, Kentucky, refinery was scheduled to shut a distillate desulfurization unit today, a hydrogen system tomorrow and a crude unit and several others on Sept. 23. A fluid catalytic cracker was expected to shut Sept. 15 for 45 days of work, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said last week.

Jamal Kheiry, a spokesman for Marathon in Findlay, Ohio, declined to comment on the maintenance plans.

The Catlettsburg refinery, in northeastern Kentucky on the Big Sandy River, has a capacity of 240,000 barrels a day. The plant processes a wide range of both sweet and sour crude oils and distributes products by pipeline, barge, truck and rail, according to Marathon’s website.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, was little changed at $12.57 a barrel.

West Coast

California-blend, or Carbob, gasoline in San Francisco weakened by 1.5 cents to a premium of 19.5 cents a gallon more than futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:47 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the lowest level since Sept. 5.

Carbob in Los Angeles weakened by 0.5 cent to a premium of 15.5 cents a gallon against futures. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, was unchanged at a premium of 20 cents.

California-blend diesel in Los Angeles strengthened by 0.5 cent to a 1-cent premium to ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex. The fuel in San Francisco was unchanged at a premium of 6 cents.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland weakened by 2.5 cents to a discount of 2.5 cents to New York futures.