Bloomberg News

Gasoline Advances as Refinery Outages Curtail East Coast Supply

October 11, 2011

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline rose to a three-week high on speculation fuel output will decline as refinery shutdowns and maintenance curb supply on the U.S. East Coast.

Futures gained as refinery rates probably fell 0.78 percentage point to 86.9 percent last week, according to the median estimate of 14 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. Sunoco Inc. shut a fluid catalytic cracker for repairs at its Marcus Hook refinery in Pennsylvania, according to state regulators.

“People think we’re going to cut down utilization rates and you’ll have tighter supplies,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gasoline for November delivery gained 5.23 cents, or 1.9 percent, to settle at $2.7476 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching $2.6685. It’s the highest settlement price since Sept. 16.

The November contract’s premium to December futures widened to 7.12 cents from 6.29 cents yesterday.

ConocoPhillips stopped production at its Trainer, Pennsylvania, refinery Sept. 30, saying if it couldn’t find a buyer, the plant would be shut permanently in six months.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.3 percent at 3:49 p.m. in New York, after falling as much as 0.6 percent earlier.

Heating oil for November delivery rose 0.02 cent to settle at $2.9041 a gallon on the exchange.

Supplies of diesel and heating oil in the U.S. probably fell 500,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate of 15 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg News. Gasoline stockpiles were unchanged.

The Energy Department is scheduled to report last week’s U.S. inventories at 11 a.m. on Oct. 13 in Washington.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.1 cent to $3.396 yesterday, according to AAA data.

--With assistance from Mark Shenk, Aaron Clark and Paul Burkhardt in New York, Jana Randow in Frankfurt, Lananh Nguyen in London and James G. Neuger in Brussels. Editors: David Marino, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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