Refining maintenance and turnaround season in the U.S. Gulf Coast boosted spot gasoline for an eighth day, its longest winning streak since August 2008.
Plants in the region processed 7.4 million barrels of crude and other feedstock in the week ended Feb. 8, 1.2 percent less than the year-earlier period, Energy Information Administration data show. Refining dropped for a second week as maintenance was said to be under way at plants operated by Phillips 66 (PSX:US), Alon USA Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US)
“Gulf gasoline has been strong as more people realize that refinery maintenance is a reality,” Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston, said today. “We’re going to be losing over one million barrels a day of production by March, and February is already half over.”
Conventional, 87-octane gasoline on the Gulf strengthened 4 cents to 2 cents below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:07 p.m., the highest level since Oct. 15.
In addition to refinery maintenance, Phillips 66 yesterday reported a compressor loss because of an equipment malfunction at its 247,000-barrel-a-day Alliance plant in Louisiana. Rich Johnson, a company spokesman, declined to comment on day-to-day operations today in an e-mail.
The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a measure of refining profitability based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, advanced $2.2077 to $36.4018 a barrel, while the same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet oil gained $1.0077 to $14.8018 a barrel.
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