Bloomberg News

Los Angeles Gasoline Rises to Four-Month High on Refinery Buying

February 15, 2012

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles jumped to the highest level against futures in four months on speculation that planned maintenance is forcing refiners to buy supplies on the spot market.

Carbob in Los Angeles rose 5.5 cents to a premium of 36 cents a gallon against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:28 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the largest premium for the fuel since Oct. 14.

Tesoro Corp. is performing maintenance at the Martinez refinery in Northern California and BP Plc will shut several units at the Carson refinery in Southern California for work next month, three people said Jan. 3. California-blend gasoline supplies dropped 3.6 percent to 6.19 million barrels last week from a week earlier, the state Energy Commission said today.

“Production is down, especially down south,” Rob Schlichting, a spokesman for the commission in Sacramento, said in an e-mail.

Valero Energy Corp., based in San Antonio, is starting crude and coker units at the Wilmington refinery in Southern California following a maintenance turnaround, Bill Day, a company spokesman in San Antonio, said in an e-mail.

The premium for Carbob in San Francisco rose 5 cents to 30.5 cents a gallon against gasoline futures, the highest since Oct. 31.

California Diesel

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles strengthened 1.37 cents to a premium of 3.5 cents to Nymex heating oil futures, the highest level in a month. San Francisco CARB diesel rose 1.5 cents to a premium of 2.5 cents against futures.

CARB diesel inventories slipped 1.5 percent to 2.84 million barrels last week, the state Energy Commission said.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, rose 2.5 cents to a discount of 4.5 cents versus gasoline futures, the strongest level for the fuel since Jan. 18.

Gasoline inventories on the West Coast, known as the Padd 5 region, dropped 0.8 percent last week to 31.6 million barrels, the lowest level in four weeks, the Energy Department said. Low- sulfur diesel stocks fell 0.2 percent to 14.1 million barrels, the agency said.

--Editors: Dan Stets, Margot Habiby

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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