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US Colonial line shutdown slows gasoline trade at New York Harbor hub

Houston — US Atlantic Coast traders Wednesday halted gasoline deals for prompt cycles at the northernmost end of the Colonial Pipeline on the shutting of the line segment that carries fuel from Greensboro, North Carolina, to the New York Harbor hub at Linden, New Jersey, market sources said.

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No trades were heard for CBOB, RBOB and conventional gasoline FOB Linden for the line's 20th through 22nd cycles for unloading at Linden.

The 885,000 b/d Line 3 from North Carolina to New Jersey remained closed Wednesday afternoon with the expectation that it will reopen at 5 pm EDT Thursday. Spokesman Steve Baker said there was no maintenance under way when the lines were closed and that the company was investigating what led to the shutdowns. The 504,000 b/d Line 4 into Maryland and Virginia also was shut.

"Most folks are on the sidelines until lines 3 and 4 are resolved," a US light ends source said. "The CPL issue has things tied up right now."

CBOB for delivery at Linden into mid-May was unchanged at the NYMEX June RBOB futures contract minus 9.15 cents/gal. RBOB for the same dates held at futures plus 3.5 cents/gal, and conventional gasoline for those dates stayed at futures minus 4.1 cents/gal.

The earliest indications heard on Colonial Wednesday were for gasoline for May 21. RBOB and CBOB were seen to be in backwardation of a few points per day through that time.

The pipeline issue also tamped trade on the nearby Buckeye lines in northern New Jersey and New York, also originating at Linden. Traders were heard to be taking a wait-and-see position.

"My RBOB offers are sitting tight until the pipeline issues become more clear," a second US light ends source said.

--Jeffrey Bair,

--Edited by Richard Rubin,