UPDATE 2-Frigid temperatures snarl some U.S. refinery operations

Tue Jan 7, 2014 5:35pm EST
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* Wholesale gasoline prices jump in US Midwest

* Marathon, Valero, Exxon, PBF confront cold

* Many problems seen short-lived

HOUSTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Frigid weather rattled several U.S. refiners on Tuesday, temporarily affecting production from Canada to Tennessee, and boosting wholesale gasoline prices in the Midwest more than 7 cents a gallon.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. said its 120,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Detroit refinery lost instrument air due to freezing temperatures, while Valero Energy Corp. reported its 180,000 bpd Memphis refinery had a "system shutdown believed to be due to low temperatures in the area," according to a filing with state and federal regulators.

Those notices came one day after an equipment shutdown due to cold weather at Exxon Mobil Corp's 238,000 bpd Joliet, Illinois refinery. Exxon said the refinery was back to normal operations on Tuesday. The company did not describe the malfunction but said it resulted in releases through its flare stacks.

Gasoline for Midwest markets outside of Chicago climbed 7.5 cents a gallon on Tuesday to a discount of 15 cents a gallon to the February RBOB gasoline contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange, traders said.

Gasoline for delivery to the Chicago market rose 5.35 cents to an offer price of 12 cents a gallon under February RBOB, traders said.

Citgo Petroleum Corp said its 174,500 bpd Lemont, Illinois refinery was "running at planned rates" while "working its way through minor issues caused by low ambient temperatures."   Continued...