UPDATE 1-U.S. gasoline margins jump on report of PBF Delaware refinery being shut

(Updates throughout and adds attempt to contact company)

NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline margins jumped on Monday on news that PBF Energy was forced to abandon the restart of its 212,000 barrel-per-day Delaware City, Delaware refinery, after a leak was discovered in the fluid catalytic cracker.

The refinery has halted production since Jan. 23, when the company said the blizzard that blanketed the East Coast caused a power outage. The company was in the process of restarting the refinery before abandoning those efforts on Monday after a leak was discovered in the fluid catalytic cracker, according to a report by Energy New Today.

The plant accounts for about 15 percent of refining capacity on the East Coast.

The gasoline crack spread 1RBc1-CLc1 jumped nearly five percent to a intraday high of $14.60 per barrel after the report before pairing gains.

The company has also decided to advance work on 49,000 bpd coker, a source familiar with the plant’s operations told Reuters on Monday. The work, which was scheduled to begin in mid-March, will now begin on Feb. 11, the source said.

The work is expected to last up to six weeks, the source said.

The prolonged coker outage caused the company to shift its crude slate toward more light-sweet varieties. It was seen bidding up Bakken crude cargoes out of the Gulf Coast, according to two traders.

The coker processes heavy-sour crudes, which it recently has imported from Colombia, Canada and Iraq, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Meredith Mazzilli)