Europe Gasoline/Naphtha Gasoline cracks ease, inventories decline

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Feb 17 (Reuters) - Benchmark northwest European gasoline barge refining margins fell to around $9 a barrel on Thursday, but remained near their highest levels since the start of the year as European and U.S. inventories declined.

  • Gasoline stocks held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage area declined due to stronger exports to West Africa, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.
  • U.S. gasoline stocks (USOILG=ECI) fell by 1.3 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 550,000-barrel rise, Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday.
  • Asian refiners, traditionally big buyers of Iranian oil, are keen to resume imports from Iran if there is an agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, which could pave the way for more supply on global markets and soften prices. read more
  • High oil and gas prices helped Spain's Repsol (REP.MC) to post earnings above market expectations on Thursday, giving it more financial firepower to spend on low-carbon operations investors are increasingly demanding of energy companies.
  • Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC.N) was restarting the diesel-producing hydrocracker at its 593,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, people familiar with its operations said on Wednesday. read more
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Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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