28 March 2005 04:50 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--The unleaded gasoline futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) gave back the hefty gains from the previous week, falling significantly in the after-hours Access trade, traders said on Monday.
Early on Monday, April unleaded gasoline fell 123 points from Thursday's floor close to 158.69 cents/gallon. On 23 March, April unleaded futures settled at 157.49 cents/gallon after hitting an intraday high of 160 cents/gallon in response to the BP's Texas City refinery explosion. The US financial markets were closed for a public holiday on Friday.
The 470,000 bbl/day refinery represents 3% of North American gasoline production capacity. BP, however, said that the blast had been limited to an isomerisation unit, which helps boost the octane level in gasoline. A company spokesman said lastt week that other adjacent units to the isomerisation unit were likely to be affected by the blast.
The sharp gasoline price retracement could be attributed to profit-taking after a sharp price surge in the previous week. Also, BP said that it expected the impact of the Texas refinery accident on oil supplies to its US consumers to be minimal.
As for crude, April crude futures dropped in tandem with the gasoline plunge. Early on Monday, April crude was hovering at $54.40/bbl, down 44 cents from Thursday's close.
The explosion at the Texas City refinery resulted in 15 dead, and more than 70 injured. So far, only 11 people remain in the hospital, five of whom are receiving intensive care treatment.
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