Weekend power outages in SE Texas

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Tuesday July 18, 4:12 pm Eastern Time Weekend power outages in SE Texas hamper oil refineries

NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Brief power outages over the weekend in southeastern Texas knocked out at least one gasoline making unit and the cash oil products market was full of talk that other units were down, said traders on Tuesday.

Cash conventional gasoline rose one penny on the refinery talk on Tuesday, a solid gain, but not one that indicates traders are panicking. ``It depends who you ask,'' said one trader, ``Deals are getting done anywhere from a half cent to 1.25 cent stronger than Monday,'' he added.

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO - news) on Monday said a 52,000 barrels per day catalytic cracker went out at its Texas City, Tex., refinery after a five minute power outage early on July 15.

But talk persisted on outages at Fina Inc.'s (AMEX:FI - news) 183,000 barrels per day Port Arthur, Tex., refinery and BP Amoco's (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: BPA.L) 460,000 bpd Texas City refinery.

BP Amoco denied that a power outage caused any problems at the refinery, but a spokesman would not say if there were any problems at the refinery.

Fina would not say if it cut runs at the Port Arthur plant. ``There was a 60 minute power outage on Saturday. The plant has been up and running since then,'' said a Fina spokeswoman.

But futures markets were rife with talk that Fina cut runs by half. ``Fina had cut runs due to a power outage on Saturday,'' said Thomson Global Market analyst Tim Evans. He said the damage at the refinery would last more than a week


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 20, 2000

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