March 1, 2007 / 4:17 PM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 3-Valero reduces Port Arthur crude runs - trade

(Adds details, prices)

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp. (VLO.N) reduced the amount of crude processed at its 325,000 barrel per day refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, after a problem with a coking unit, traders said on Thursday.

A source familiar with refinery operations said the coker was operating at reduced rates and not completely shut down.

This is contrary to trade sources which said the 105,000 barrel per day coker was completely down, forcing the company to cut runs to one crude distillate unit which has a capacity of 130,000 barrels per day.

Traders said the coker problem was likely to be resolved and both the coker and crude distillate units would be back up over the week.

Conventional M4 gasoline in the Gulf Coast gained a penny after the news, moving up to trade at 4.25 cents under the screen from the 5.50 cents under seen on Wednesday. In the New York Harbor, both prompt M4 and RBOB gained on the news.

A Valero spokeswoman said as a matter of policy the company does not comment on operations that do not have a material impact on production.

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