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Marathon confirms partial shutdown at Garyville, LA refinery due to power loss


Marathon Petroleum said its 490,000 barrels per day refinery in GaryvilleLouisiana, was partially shut and damaged by a windstorm on Wednesday.

"As a result of the severe storm this morning, the Garyville refinery experienced some damage and loss of power to part of the refinery," said Angelia Graves, a FindlayOhio-based spokeswoman for the company. Marathon is in the process of evaluating the damage and assessing operations, she said.

Marathon did not confirm which units were impacted, but market sources citing an Energy News Today report said two cooling towers were affected.

The area was issued a tornado warning at 5:30 a.m. CDT (1030 GMT) and experienced heavy winds, said Paige Falgoust, communications director at the St. James Parish Emergency Preparedness Office.

If key units at the plant are shut, Marathon would consume less Light Louisiana Sweet crude, which could weaken the price of the grade, according to a broker in the market.

The market has already started to react, with LLS and Mars trading lower, another broker said.

If there is a shutdown of any length, grades most affected will be sour types as Garyville runs mostly heavy sour grades, a third market participant said. Extended downtime would see sour grades weaken and foreign sour crude shipments could be delayed or put out into resale, the person said.

In the Gulf Coast cash refined products market, CBOB, or conventional blendstock for oxygenate blending, traded a penny stronger at 20.00 cents per gallon under the benchmark July RBOB futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Conventional gasoline was being offered a quarter cent stronger at 18.00 cents per gallon under the benchmark and ultra-low sulfur diesel was also talked a quarter cent stronger, offered at 3.25 cents per gallon under the July heating oil futures.