Bloomberg News

California Gasoline Rises to Month-High on Planned Refinery Work

December 20, 2011

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles strengthened to the highest level against futures in more than a month on speculation that work at Valero Energy Corp.’s Wilmington refinery will tighten supplies next month.

Carbob in Los Angeles rose for the third day, increasing 3.25 cents to a premium of 12 cents a gallon versus gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:23 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the largest gap since Nov. 10.

San Antonio-based Valero plans to idle a crude unit and a coker at the 135,000-barrel-a-day Wilmington refinery in Southern California for four weeks beginning next month, according to the company’s website. Houston-based ConocoPhillips also shut a products pipeline in Northern California Dec. 17 after flooding from a water main break.

“The pipeline has not been reopened,” Romelia Hinojosa, a company spokeswoman in Houston, said in an e-mail. “We do not have an estimated restart time at the moment.”

The shut line runs from Conoco’s 128,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo refinery to the company’s terminal in Richmond, California, Hinojosa said.

Carbob in San Francisco rose 3 cents to a premium of 8.25 cents versus futures, the highest level since Nov. 18.

Dallas-based Alon USA Energy Inc. is working on the hydrocracker at the 70,000-barrel-a-day Bakersfield refinery, which refines vacuum gasoil produced by Alon’s two other California refineries in Long Beach and Paramount. The unit will remain offline during the work, Blake Lewis, an external spokesman in Richardson, Texas, said in an e-mail Dec. 16.

Unit to Shut

Alon planned to shut the unit for two weeks this month for “minor revisions” that will allow it to process new crude blends, the company said in a statement last month.

California-blend diesel, known as CARB diesel, in Los Angeles rose for the sixth straight day, by 1 cent to a premium of 1 cent against heating oil futures traded on the Nymex. The same fuel in San Francisco climbed 0.75 cent to a premium of 2.5 cents versus futures.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, gained 1 cent to a discount of 1.5 cents to futures.

--Editors: David Marino, Charlotte Porter

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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