Bloomberg News

Gulf Gasoline Strengthens Fourth Day After Refinery Unit Outages

January 12, 2012

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened for a fourth straight day after gasoline-making units shut for repairs and stockpiles decreased in the region.

Gasoline inventories in the Gulf Coast states fell 991,000 barrels, or 1.3 percent, to 74.9 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Department.

ConocoPhillips shut a catalytic cracker and alkylation unit at the Alliance refinery in Louisiana, Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said in an e-mail Jan. 9. Catalytic crackers at Conoco’s Sweeny plant in Texas and Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Garyville, Louisiana, refinery also shut, according to Lipow.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Gulf Coast narrowed 1 cent to 1.75 cents a gallon versus futures traded at noon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery rose 3.06 cents to $2.7664.

Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery shut a diesel hydrotreater for repairs and will idle a crude unit Jan. 17 and a coker March 1 for work, two people with knowledge of the operations said Jan. 9.

Houston-based Motiva is a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

The premium for the same fuel in New York Harbor rose 0.5 cent to 1.88 cents a gallon.

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, David Marino

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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