Houston — US Pacific Northwest jet fuel and gasoline found support Friday on three fronts -- a storm that slowed barge traffic, knock-on impact from a recent shutdown to the region's busiest pipeline, and a refinery bid.
Maintenance on the Olympic Pipeline ended Thursday night, according to an official familiar with pipeline operations. The 400-mile pipeline system carries refined products from Puget Sound to Oregon and Washington locations.
Barge traffic of fuel for inland Washington and Oregon was disrupted by storms Thursday and Friday both at refineries at Puget Sound and further south.
Astoria, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River was under a high wind warning until Friday night Pacific time, with gusts up to 65 mph, the National Weather Service said Friday.
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"The barge and ship traffic has slowed down," a US light ends source said. "Gale warnings are in effect."
Prompt suboctane on the Olympic system rose 32 cents to NYMEX January RBOB plus 47 cents/gal, a two-month high. The blendstock went 50 cents above futures in early October when a natural gas pipeline fire cut off supplies to regional refineries.
Also Friday, S&P Global Platts assessed jet fuel in Seattle at the NYMEX January ULSD futures contract plus 4.25 cents/gal, up 3.75 cents day on day. The move came after there was a bid heard during the day at the NYMEX January ULSD contract plus 4 cents/gal.
The Seattle jet differential was assessed at futures 0.50 cent/gal for the past two trading sessions and averaged futures plus 1.30 cents/gal thus far in December, excluding Friday.
The high bid is result of a delayed reaction to the Olympic Pipeline shutdown, which came because of a complication during planned maintenance.
"It could be that BP is short," said a jet fuel trader. "I'm not sure who can supply them as any other Olympic pipe shipper would be in the same position."
A BP trader did not respond for comment.
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