Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. refiner, said
yesterday that it halted fuel output at its Houston refinery due
to steam system and boiler problems. The complex is capable of
processing 130,000 barrels of oil a day. ConocoPhillips, the
second-largest U.S. refiner, said a unit at its plant in Sweeny,
Texas, is undergoing maintenance after a leak yesterday.
The profit margin, or “crack,” for turning crude oil into
fuels has more than tripled this year. It rose to $30.191 today,
the highest since at least 1989, based on closing futures prices
in New York.
“Refiners are undergoing maintenance and can’t finish fast
enough to take advantage of these crack spreads,” Ritterbusch
said. “They obviously want to produce as much fuel as possible
Superb. Gasoline is 4 cents higher right now to 2.38. We may just see a rise tomorrow, or perhaps Monday to $3.55-$3.59
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