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Colonial accepting higher-RVP gasoline: Update

06 Sep 2017 21:46 (+01:00 GMT)
Colonial accepting higher-RVP gasoline: Update

Adds end of 9.0 RVP lifting.

Houston, 6 September (Argus) — Colonial Pipeline began accepting winter-specification fuels across all gasoline grades today after the company said it received approval from federal regulators.

The operator of the 5,500-mile (8,851km) products system connecting US Gulf coast refiners to southeastern terminals and the New York Harbor market said a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order allowed refiners and other suppliers to send all gasoline grades at 11.5 RVP, a higher-volatility winter fuel specification.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week exempted 38 states and the District of Columbia from requirements to use summer-grade 7.8 RVP and 9.0 RVP gasoline after Hurricane Harvey disrupted roughly 5mn b/d of Texas and Louisiana refining capacity.

The waiver, which also eased requirements for on-highway diesel, will remain in effect until 15 September. Because of lost time due to the hurricane, the company said today it will no longer transport 9.0 RVP across its system for the rest of the season.

Colonial previously requested purchasers of the fuel change nominations to reflect consent for accepting the higher-RVP fuels, the pipeline operator said. Valero on 2 September requested FERC direct the company to immediately accept the EPA-approved fuels across its system without conditions.

Harvey's remnants flooded cities and refining centers along the Texas coastline, shutting ports, pipelines and refining equipment beginning 24 August. Floodwaters have kept some refining capacity offline as companies check for damage or wait for areas to drain. But the logistical closures also cut fuel production as refiners ran short of outlets for their production.

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