Bloomberg News

Chicago Diesel Falls as Unit Said to Start at Whiting Refinery

November 15, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago ultra-low-sulfur diesel fell after BP Plc’s Whiting refinery in Indiana was said to have returned a coker to service and to be starting a crude unit.

The fuel’s premium tumbled 11 cents to 10 cents a gallon in Chicago versus heating oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:36 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt-delivery fell 9.98 cents to $3.2724 a gallon.

The 420,000-barrel-a-day refinery, BP’s second-largest plant, was starting a crude unit known as Pipestill No. 12 after about two weeks of maintenance, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said today. The 11B coker returned to normal operations this week after work, according to another person familiar with the refinery’s operations.

The London-based company had planned maintenance that would “affect approximately half its crude capacity” for about a month, Byron Grote, BP’s chief financial officer, said during an earnings call Oct. 25.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Chicago widened 2.5 cents to 9.5 cents a gallon versus gasoline futures traded on the Nymex at 2:36 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The same fuel in the Gulf Coast fell 1 cent to a discount of 6 cents below futures, the lowest level since Sept. 23. Royal Dutch Shell Plc reported emissions from the 340,000-barrel-a-day Deer Park refinery in Texas related to the startup of a hydrodesulfurization unit, according to a filing with state regulators.

Motiva Enterprises LLC will shut an H-oil unit, which processes heavy residue into higher-value products, at the 255,000-barrel-a-day Convent refinery in Louisiana in early April for work, a person with knowledge of the plans said today. The work is expected to last 45 to 60 days, the person said.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Midwest, or Group 3, widened 0.13 cent to 3.38 cents below futures, the lowest level since Aug. 5.

Regular gasoline in New York Harbor fell 0.62 cent to a premium of 4.13 cents above futures.

--With assistance from Aaron Clark and Paul Burkhardt in New York. Editors: Charlotte Porter, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

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


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