Explorer Pipeline fuel line from Texas to Oklahoma running at reduced rates

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Explorer Pipeline’s fuel line from Houston to Glenpool, Oklahoma, is running at reduced rates due to temporary repairs made on Tuesday after a leak, pushing up cash gasoline prices in Midwestern markets.

The company made the repairs after discovering a small flange leak, Dolin Argo, Explorer’s vice president of operations and business development, said on Thursday.

Explorer is working to move fuel faster until permanent repairs are made early next week, Argo added in an email.

The pipeline system, which has a capacity of 660,000 barrels a day, takes about 11 days to move a barrel of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil or jet fuel from the Gulf Coast region to the Chicago area.

Group Three V-grade gasoline differentials were seen firming by as much as 2 cents to trade 8 cents per gallon above benchmark futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange for delivery in November, traders and brokers said. Prices then eased to about 5 cents a gallon above benchmark futures.

A Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) spokesman said Explorer Pipeline leaked transmix petroleum products and was discovered in Harris County, Texas, on Monday. Transmix is a mixture of refined products such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel that forms when transported in pipelines.

It was not immediately clear what volumes of fuel had spilled.

Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis