Bloomberg News

Midwest Gasoline Gains as Minnesota Refinery Shuts Several Units

June 21, 2013

Midwest spot gasoline strengthened after Flint Hills Resources Inc. shut units at the Pine Bend refinery in Minnesota because of a power failure.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, in Chicago gained 1 cent to 21 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:37 p.m. The differential has narrowed 11 cents in the past two days after falling to the biggest discount since March 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Flint Hills’ 330,000-barrel-a-day Pine Bend plant suffered a power loss, resulting in the automatic shutdown of several units. Jake Reint, a company spokesman, said he couldn’t comment any further on the units or repairs that may be under way.

In the Group 3 market, which covers states from Oklahoma north to Minnesota, conventional 87-octane gasoline gained 0.25 cent to a 9.75-cent discount.

When a refinery takes units offline, it typically results in lower regional supplies and strengthening of spot prices.

Gasoline inventories in the U.S. Midwest climbed 507,000 barrels to 49.7 million barrels in the week ended June 14, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Distillate fuel supplies dropped 197,000 barrels to 27.3 million during the same time period, the lowest level since May 24.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel strengthened 0.75 cent in Chicago to 2.75 cents below futures on the Nymex, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Group 3 ULSD gained 0.25 cent to a 1-cent premium.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure for gasoline and diesel fuel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, increased 64 cents to $16.84 a barrel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harvey in New York at charvey32@bloomberg.net

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


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