Chicago diesel fuel tumbled to the lowest level in more than eight months after BP Plc (BP/) was said to restart units at its Toledo, Ohio, refinery.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in Chicago slipped 6 cents to 11.5 cents a gallon below futures at 2:34 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest discount since Jan. 23. Conventional, 85-octane gasoline in the region, or CBOB, slipped 0.5 cent to 6 cents below futures.
Differentials widened as BP was said to ramp up rates at its Toledo refinery after restarting a sulfur recovery complex. The plant had been running at reduced levels since Sept. 24, according to a person familiar with operations, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
The Toledo refinery, jointly owned by BP (BP:US) and Husky Energy Inc. (HSE), produces mostly gasoline, including low-sulfur fuels, according to the company’s website. The plant has the capacity to process about 160,000 barrels a day.
The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, slipped $1.14 to $9.41 a barrel. The same spread in Group 3 fell 2 cents to $10.11 a barrel, a third consecutive decline, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The crack spread in New York, based on Brent oil in Europe, was little changed at $5.88 a gallon.
Spot gasoline in the U.S. Northeast strengthened to the highest in more than two weeks as area refineries prepared to shut units for planned turnarounds.
Conventional, 84-octane gasoline, or RBOB, in New York Harbor added 1.75 cents to a premium of 0.75 cents a gallon versus Nymex futures at 1:57 p.m., the strongest level since Sept. 13. The conventional, 83.5-octane grade known as CBOB gained 1.38 cents to 0.25 cent above Nymex futures.
The differentials gained as Phillips 66 (PSX:US) was set to shut a catalytic cracking, gas and isomerization unit for 40 days of planned work at the Bayway, New Jersey, refinery and PBF Energy Inc. (PBF:US) was expected to carry out maintenance on a coker and two sulfur units in Delaware City, Delaware.
The 238,000-barrel-a-day Bayway plant, the largest single refinery site in the U.S. Northeast, distributes products to East Coast customers via barges, trucks, pipelines and railcars, the company’s website showed.
Rich Johnson, a Houston-based spokesman for the company, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail today.
The Delaware City site, on the Delaware River, processes a diverse slate of heavy crudes and distributes clean products, according to the company’s website. The plant has a capacity of about 182,2000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Michael Karlovich, a spokesman for PBF in Parsippany, New Jersey, declined to comment on operations.
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