MARKET WATCH: Gasoline prices gain after refinery fire

Crude oil prices rose along with US gasoline futures June 21 after an explosion and fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in south Philadelphia. Federal investigators are looking into the incident at PES, a 335,000-b/d refining complex.

Crude oil prices rose along with US gasoline futures June 21 after an explosion and fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in south Philadelphia. Federal investigators are looking into the incident at PES, a 335,000-b/d refining complex (OGJ Online, June 21, 2019).

Gasoline for July delivery settled at $1.86/gal on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking its highest closing in 3 weeks.

PES confirmed a series of three separate explosions in an alkylation unit, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The fire injured five workers. The complex involves both the Point Breeze and Girard Point refineries.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported light, sweet crude for August delivery rose nearly 9% for the week ended June 21—the largest weekly percentage gain since December 2016.

Meanwhile, analysts and traders continue to monitor US-Iran tensions. US President Donald Trump said he called off a military strike against Iran for shooting down a US drone. But the incident and Trump’s comments illustrated the potential for military conflict.

The dates of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the separate meeting of OPEC and other major producing countries, OPEC+, were changed to July 1-2 from June 25-26. Analysts suggest the reason was “a wait-and-see approach” to the outcome of the G20 summit during which Trump and China President Xi Jinping are expected to discuss trade relations.

Energy prices

Light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange for July delivery gained 36¢ to $57.43/bbl while the August contract climbed 37¢ to settle at $57.50/bbl.

NYMEX natural gas for July edged up a fraction of 1¢ to a rounded $2.19/MMbtu.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for July rose 3¢ to a rounded $1.92/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for July gained nearly 7¢ to a rounded $1.86/gal.

Brent crude for August climbed 75¢ to $65.20/bbl. The September price increased 69¢ to settle at $64.45/bbl.

The gas oil contract for July rose $7.50 to $587/tonne on June 21. The average for OPEC’s basket of crudes was $65.29/bbl on June 21, up $1.34 from the previous day.

Contact Paula Dittrick at pdittrick@endeavorb2b.com.

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