Chicago Gasoline Slides as Phillips 66 Begins Wood River Startup

Chicago gasoline sank to a two-week low after Phillips 66 restarted a unit following a fire at its Wood River, Illinois, refinery and as inventories rose in the U.S. Midwest.

Conventional CBOB gasoline fell 3.5 cents to 17 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:39 p.m., the weakest level since Jan. 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was also the second consecutive decline.

The discount widened after Phillips 66 said it began to bring a unit back in service after the fire broke out yesterday at its 356,000-barrel-a-day Wood River refinery. That may add to gasoline stockpiles in the region, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported climbed 315,000 barrels to 53 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 17, the highest level since April 12.

Inventories may also rise after Citgo Petroleum Corp. returns a vacuum distillation unit to service at its 170,500-barrel-a-day Lemont, Illinois, refinery. The unit, expected to begin restarting on Jan. 29, had been shut since a fire on Oct. 23.

PBF Energy Inc.’s 175,000-barrel-a-day Toledo, Ohio, refinery was expected this week to restart a hydrocracker that shut for eight to 12 days of maintenance around Jan. 13.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, dropped $1.48 to $13.21 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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