Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended February 20, 2017. Gasoline prices declined slightly, while diesel prices increased during the week.


For the current week ended February 20, diesel prices rose 0.7 cents (cts) to an average price of $2.572/gallon.


PADD 1 retail diesel prices rose 0.2cts to $2.628/gallon. In New England, prices declined by 1.0 cent to $2.658/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices rose 0.5cts to average $2.77/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices rose by 0.2cts to average $2.521/gallon. Overall PADD 1 prices were 56.9cts/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.


In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices rose 0.8cts to average $2.495/gallon. This price was 57.4cts/gallon above its level for the same week last year. Supply had been reduced when Husky Energy closed the 36 kbpd diesel hydrotreater at its 155 kbpd Lima, Ohio, refinery for unplanned repairs on February 8, and the unit was brought back online this week. Citgo began to resume operations at the 40 kbpd coker at its 175 kbpd Lemont, Illinois, refinery.


In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices increased by 0.9cts to average $2.433/gallon. This price was 56.0cts higher than in the previous year. Motiva announced that it would be shutting down its hydrocracker and cutting crude runs at its 230 kbpd Convent, Louisiana, refinery for a period of around four weeks. This is to finalize repairs on a fire-damaged section that has been closed since August. Valero’s 125 kbpd Meraux, Louisiana, refinery and 47 kbpd hydrocracker remain at low throughput during repairs after last week’s fire and explosion.


In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices jumped 2.6cts to $2.548/gallon. This price was 68.7cts higher than in the prior year.


In the West Coast PADD 5 market, diesel pump prices increased by 0.7cts to $2.876/gallon. This price was 69.5cts above its level last year. Prices excluding California rose 0.6cts to $2.767/gallon, which was 71.7cts above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices rose 0.9cts to reach an average price of $2.966/gallon, 67.8cts higher than last year’s price. Prices were influenced by mechanical failure of one of the hydrocrackers (20 kbpd capacity) at the 77 kbpd Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery near San Francisco. Tesoro closed the 22 kbpd hydrocracker at its Wilmington, California, refinery.



U.S. retail gasoline prices declined by 0.5cts for the week ended February 20 to $2.302/gallon. This price was 57.2cts higher than for the same week in 2016.


In the East Coast PADD 1, prices for gasoline edged up 0.1cts to $2.294/gallon. This price was 56.0cts higher than last year’s price. Prices fell 0.8cts in New England to $2.288/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices fell by 0.4cts to $2.420/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 0.6cts, to bring prices to an average of $2.201/gallon, 53.4cts higher than last year’s average price.


PBF Energy reopened the 55 kbpd coker at its Delaware City, Delaware, refinery, which had been out of service since January 12. PBF is in the process of restarting its 44 kbpd cat reformer and related hydrotreaters. Philadelphia Energy Solutions has had gasoline-related units offline, including a naphtha hydrotreater, cat reformer and alkylation unit. These began to be restarted in phases during the week, and the process is scheduled to continue in the coming week.



In the Midwest PADD 2 market, gasoline prices dropped by 2.3cts to average $2.19/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 58.1cts higher than they were one year ago.


In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices shed 1.1cts to average $2.069/gallon. Prices for the week were 54.3cts higher than for the same week in 2016. Refinery issues included a shutdown of Western Refining’s 130 kbpd El Paso, Texas, refinery. Valero closed its 95 kbpd Three Rivers, Texas, refinery to repair the crude unit, and it reportedly will be offline until early March. Phillips 66 shut the larger (45 kbpd) of its two cat crackers at the 200 kbpd Ponca City, Oklahoma, refinery. Petrobras closed the 23 kbpd cat reformer at the Pasadena, Texas, refinery. Shell is repairing the 45 kbpd cat reformer at its Deer Park, Texas, refinery


In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 region, gasoline prices rose 2.2cts to average $2.52/gallon. This price was 57.9cts higher than at the same time in 2016. Supplies have been constrained by the closure of Plains All-American Pipeline’s 100,000 bpd Wasatch Pipeline, caused by a landslide. Salt Lake City refineries reduced throughput. Tesoro’s 63 kbpd refinery remained closed, though it had been undergoing maintenance already. HollyFrontier noted that it was running its 45 kbpd refinery at reduced rates, as was Chevron.


In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices rose 1.8cts to an average price of $2.75/gallon. This was 60.9cts higher than at the same time a year ago, the largest price increase among the five PADDs. Excluding California, prices rose 0.9cts to an average of $2.496/gallon. This was 62.1cts higher than at the same time in 2016. 


California prices rose 2.4cts to an average pump price of $2.898/gallon, 60.3cts higher than last year’s price for the same week. Los Angeles prices edged up one-tenth of a cent to $2.98/gallon. This price was 61cts higher than the price for the same week in 2016. San Francisco pump prices were hiked by 2.9cts to average $2.918/gallon, 52.7cts above last year’s price. Seattle prices increased 0.6cts to average $2.726/gallon, 67.5cts higher than prices one year ago.


Tesoro had a delay in completing planned maintenance at its 100 kbpd Wilmington, California, refinery. Phillips 66 had a release of hydrofluoric acid from the 10.2 kbpd alkylation unit at its 100 kbpd Ferndale, Washington, refinery, exposing at least seven workers, one of whom was hospitalized for inhalation.