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U.S. gasoline prices rise after Antwerp refinery fire

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline prices rose close to 1 percent on Tuesday after a blast halted production at a large European refinery which exports some gasoline to the Unites States.

One person was killed and two are missing following an explosion at Total's 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) Antwerp, Belgium oil refinery which forced it to halt gasoline production.

"It seems like a rather serious blast, and given how big an exporter of gasoline to the U.S. the refinery is, gasoline prices are likely to find a boost," said Amrita Sen, chief analyst at consultants Energy Aspects.

The United States imported some 59,000 barrels-per-day (bpd)of oil products, on average, from Belgium in August, according to U.S. government data, some 6,000 bpd of which were finished gasoline.

The fire and ensuing shutdown also boosted heating oil prices as distillate stocks in Europe will fall and the continent will be forced to rely on U.S. exports as those supplies remain tight.

U.S. gasoline futures traded as much as 2.19 cents a gallon higher to $2.6787 a gallon. Heating oil futures gained as much as 2.09 cents to $2.9431.