Bloomberg News

Chicago Gasoline Weakens to Record Low After Refiners Ramp Up

February 15, 2012

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago gasoline fell to a record low after refiners increased the amount of oil they process to the highest level for this time of year in two decades and inventories of the fuel increased.

Gasoline stockpiles in the Midwest rose last week to 57.2 million barrels, the eighth consecutive weekly gain and the highest level since February 2010, according to the Energy Department. Refiners processed 3.45 million barrels a day, the most since 1992 for this time of year.

The discount for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Chicago widened 10 cents to 65 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:55 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the lowest level since at least 1996. Prompt delivery slipped 7.49 cents to $2.3576 a gallon.

Canadian oils used by Midwest refiners have been at record discounts to West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, increasing profits from producing fuel.

Reformulated, 87-octane gasoline, or RBOB, in the Gulf Coast market strengthened 2.53 cents to a discount of 2.35 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Marathon Petroleum Co. experienced a partial power failure at the Garyville refinery in Louisiana that caused malfunctions in several units, Jean Kelly, a spokeswoman at the state Department of Environmental Quality, said in an e-mail.

The failure at the 460,000-barrel-a-day plant occurred at about 11 a.m. local time and resulted in a release of sulfur dioxide that was secured after 20 minutes, Kelly said.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, David Marino

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

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


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