US Gulf Coast gasoline strengthens after power outage

15 April 2013 21:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Gasoline differentials in the US Gulf Coast region were stronger on Monday after a third-party power outage shut three refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, on Sunday morning, sources said.

Regular unleaded spot gasoline prices traded 4.25 cents/gal stronger at a discount of 12.00 cents/gal under May reformulated blendstock for oxygen blending (RBOB) futures on the NYMEX, which settled at $2.7576/gal on Monday.

Spot US Gulf conventional blendstock for oxygen blending (CBOB) grade was assessed at a discount of 16.00 cents/gal under futures prices, 5.00 cents/gal stronger than the ICIS assessment on 12 April.

The Port Arthur refineries affected by the outage included the 600,000 bbl/day Motiva refinery, the 290,000 bbl/day Valero refinery and the 225,500 bbl/day Total SA refinery.

All units at the Valero refinery are now in operation with the exception of one of the two crude units and one of the two hydrocracking units (HCU), company spokesman Bill Day said. Those units are continuing the restart process that began on 14 April.

“Power had been restored shortly after yesterday morning’s interruption. At this time we do not expect a material impact on production,” he said.  

In a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Motiva said the power outage on 14 April “resulted in operational upsets and flaring.”

Affected units included the crude distillation unit, the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit and the coker unit.  

“After a regional power failure this morning, multiple units experienced operational upsets, causing excess emissions,” Total said in its TCEQ filing.

Both Motiva and Total did not immediately respond to inquiries on the status of the respective refineries.

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By: Anna Matherne

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