Bloomberg News

Portland Gasoline Strengthens as ConocoPhillips Shuts Units

March 09, 2012

Gasoline in the U.S. Northwest jumped to the highest level against futures in nine days after ConocoPhillips (COP) began shutting units at the Ferndale (CPFWCRUD) oil refinery in Washington state for planned maintenance.

Everything except the boilers and flare at the plant will be shut for work, according to the notice that Houston-based ConocoPhillips filed with state regulators.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland (MOGHD87P), Oregon, jumped 11.5 cents to a discount of 2 cents a gallon against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:25 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the narrowest discount since Feb. 27.

The turnaround at Ferndale, initially scheduled to begin earlier this month, was delayed after BP Plc (BP/)’s 234,000-barrel-a- day Cherry Point (BPFECRUD) plant was forced shut by a fire Feb. 17, two people familiar with the plans said March 2. London-based BP is performing work and repairs at Cherry Point that will last into April, the company said Feb. 29.

Carbob in Los Angeles (MOGLDB85) fell 2 cents to a premium of 15.5 cents a gallon against Nymex gasoline futures, the lowest level since March 2, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The same fuel in San Francisco (MOGSD85P) also fell 2 cents to a 12.5-cent premium against futures.

California Inventories

California gasoline inventories rose for the first time in three weeks, by 976,000 barrels to 7.98 million, for the week ended March 2, the state Energy Commission said. Demand for the fuel dropped 6.8 percent on the U.S. West Coast last week from a year ago, according to MasterCard Inc. (MA)’s SpendingPulse report.

Alon USA Energy Inc. (ALJ) said the company will return its California refineries to service in the second quarter of this year after signing an agreement to buy crude oil for the plants from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s J. Aron & Co. unit.

Tesoro Corp. (TSO)’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle (TEMTCRUD) refinery near Martinez, California, was also starting units this week and last week following planned maintenance, according to notices filed with Contra Costa County regulators.

California-blend diesel, or CARB diesel, in Los Angeles (DIEILCAD) slipped 0.5 cent to a 19.5-cent premium against Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco (DIEISCAD) rose 0.25 cent to a premium of 15.25 cents versus futures.

Jet fuel in Los Angeles fell for the second day, by 0.25 cent to a premium of 14.75 cents, against heating oil futures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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