UpdateUS gasoline futures fall on lack of Hurricane Irene damage

29 August 2011 22:20  [Source: ICIS news]

Hurricane Irene(adds paragraphs 1-4)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Gasoline futures closed lower on Monday after east-coast refineries reported few disruptions caused by Hurricane Irene. 

Hurricane Irene’s expected path passed over six crucial east coast refiners, and some expected to see significant storm surges.

Gasoline settled at $2.9064/gal, down 2.82 cents from before the storm on 26 August. Crude, meanwhile, gained $1.90/bbl for a settlement of $87.27/bbl.

Prices for gasoline futures surged on 25 August as investors expected supply disruptions because of refinery shutdowns and long-term damage. But this was not the case.

Instead, at least one refinery remains shut down and two refineries remain at reduced rates following Hurricane Irene's sweep up the US east coast.

Refinery operators took the steps as a precaution to any possible damage or injury that could be caused by the storm.

Sunoco’s 335,000 bbl/day Philadelphia and 178,000 bbl/day Marcus Hook refineries in Pennsylvania were operating at reduced rates after the storm, company spokesman Thomas Golembeski said. He would not comment on specific units.

ConocoPhillips’s reported that its 185,000 bbl/day Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania continued to operate and the company performed a controlled shut down at its 238,000 bbl/day Bayway refinery in New Jersey.

PBF Energy’s 182,000 bbl/day Delaware City refinery in Delaware and its 160,000 bbl/day Paulsboro refinery in New Jersey were in the path of Hurricane Irene.

However, PBF Energy spokesman Michael Gayda said both of the company's refineries are running at planned rates.

Although the refineries certainly faced challenges during the hurricane, those were overcome, with the plants suffering no major damage, he said.

Gayda would not say if the refineries had temporarily reduced rates during the weekend.

There were no reports of severe damage from either the refineries or from market sources.

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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