Bloomberg News

Los Angeles Gasoline at a Discount for First Time Since August

November 15, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Los Angeles gasoline slipped to a discount versus futures for the first time since August after Chevron Corp.’s Richmond refinery tried to start a crude unit and Tesoro Corp.’s Wilmington refinery reported planned flaring.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles fell for the fifth straight day, dropping 6.38 cents to a discount of 0.88 cent a gallon below gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:57 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fuel hasn’t traded at a discount since Aug. 16.

Chevron’s 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond refinery in Northern California attempted to start the crude unit yesterday when a fire broke out. Melissa Ritchie, a refinery spokeswoman, said a new date for the unit’s start is still being established.

“We actually don’t know that yet,” Ritchie, based in Richmond, said in an e-mail. “It’s still under investigation.”

The unit was scheduled to shut early last month for maintenance that was expected to last up to six weeks, a person with direct knowledge of the work said in July.

Tesoro’s Wilmington refinery told air regulators that it plans to flare gases from Nov. 17 to Nov. 18, fueling speculation that maintenance at the refinery is complete. The 97,000-barrel-a-day refinery was said to begin work on units in late October that was scheduled to last three to four weeks.

Mike Marcy, a Tesoro spokesman based in Martinez, California, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the flaring.

Carbob in San Francisco slipped 1 cent to reach parity with futures, the fuel’s lowest level since Aug. 16.

Valero Benicia

Valero Energy Corp. also returned a hydrotreater to service at the 170,000-barrel-a-day Benicia refinery in Northern California, Bill Day, a Valero spokesman in San Antonio, said in an e-mail yesterday.

California-blend diesel in Los Angeles fell 3.5 cents to trade at a discount to heating oil futures for the first time since Aug. 17. The same fuel in San Francisco also fell 3.5 cents to a discount of 2 cents below futures.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, slipped 0.5 cent to a premium of 1 cent above futures. The fuel has weakened for eight straight days.

--Editors: David Marino, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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