* U.S. November gasoline, heating oil contracts expire
* Phillips 66: Power back at Bayway refinery in Linden, New
* Phillips 66 gives no restart estimate for New Jersey
(Recasts with settlement prices, updated market activity)
By Matthew Robinson and Robert Gibbons
NEW YORK, Oct 31 U.S. gasoline futures prices
rose on Wednesday on concerns about East Coast supply shortages
as the energy sector struggled to restore operations disrupted
by massive storm Sandy.
Expiring front-month November gasoline futures pared gains
late after surging more than 7 percent during the session,
hitting their highest level since Oct. 12.
Gasoline futures attracted wholesale buyers trying to lock
in physical supplies, market sources said.
Even as the aftermath of the devastating storm kept many
motorists off the road, more than half of the gasoline service
stations in the New York and New Jersey area were shut due to a
combination of power outages and depleted supplies.
While operators continued to restore refineries and
pipelines after disruptions crippled the East Coast fuel supply
network, the focus remained on Phillips 66's 238,000
barrel-per-day Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey.
Power cut off by the storm was restored, the company said,
but sources said it might be next week before the refinery
"Some wholesalers may be using the expiring NYMEX gasoline
contract as a way to get physical supply over the next several
weeks," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New
"There are growing concerns about shortages of gasoline at
the retail level and the tight gasoline supply situation in the
New York Harbor even before the storm."
Gasoline inventories in the mid-Atlantic region were already
16 percent below last year's levels before the storm hit,
according to U.S. government data.
November RBOB gasoline futures rose 3.30 cents to
settle and go off the board at $2.7618 a gallon, off an earlier
high of $2.9375. The more-actively traded December contract
rose 1.48 cents to settle at $2.6303 a gallon.
Expiring November heating oil, the U.S. benchmark
distillate contract, fell 1.84 cents to settle at $3.0682 a
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday
granted New Jersey a temporary waiver on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel
(ULSD) specification requirements to help counter a shortfall in
fuel supplies in parts of the state.
CRUDE FUTURES MIXED
While crude futures were mixed, Brent and U.S. benchmark
crude posted losses for October, the second consecutive monthly
Before the calamity of storm Sandy, tepid demand, slowing
global economic growth and expectations of returning North Sea
supply - following maintenance-related production curbs - had
weighed on crude prices.
On Wednesday, Brent December crude oil fell 38 cents
to settle at $108.70 per barrel, having swung from $108.31 to
$109.80. For the month, Brent fell 3.2 percent.
U.S December crude rose 56 cents to settle at $86.24
a barrel, but stumbled 6.5 percent in October.
Traders awaited a fresh snapshot of U.S. oil inventories for
the week to Oct. 26 from U.S. Energy Information Administration
data. The report was delayed a day because of the storm and is
set to arrive on Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).
A report from the American Petroleum Institute released on
Tuesday showed small gains in gasoline and oil stockpiles for
the week, while distillate stocks showed a nearly 900,000-barrel
(Additional reporting by Alice Baghdjian in London and Florence
Tan in Singapore; Editing by Jim Marshall, David Gregorio and