Bloomberg News

Los Angeles Gasoline Jumps to Three-Month High on Plant Upsets

January 24, 2013

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles surged against futures as Valero Energy Corp. (VLO:US) was said to be shutting an alkylation unit at its Southern California plant next week and Chevron Corp. (CVX:US) and Phillips 66 (PSX:US) reported equipment shutdowns.

Valero’s 78,000-barrel-a-day Wilmington refinery near Los Angeles will shut the alkylation unit for about seven to 10 days of repairs on a depropanizer, a person familiar with the plans said. Bill Day, a spokesman at Valero’s headquarters, said by e- mail that he couldn’t confirm the planned work.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles strengthened 22 cents to 20.5 cents a gallon against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:49 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the highest level for the fuel since Oct. 15. Prompt-delivery in Los Angeles rose 24.99 cents to $3.0838 a gallon.

The Wilmington refinery’s alkylation unit was shut Dec. 21 to repair a leak, bringing down the plant’s fluid catalytic cracker with it. Both units were started last week, and the cracking unit has “not yet reached planned rates,” Day said.

BP Plc (BP/), Chevron and Tesoro Corp. (TSO:US) are performing maintenance on process units at their own refineries in Southern California.

The discount for Carbob in San Francisco narrowed 12.5 cents to a discount of 3.5 cents a gallon against futures, a three-week high. Prompt-delivery of the fuel rose 15.49 cents to $2.8438 a gallon.

Chevron Richmond

Chevron reported a unit shutdown at the 240,000-barrel-a- day Richmond refinery, Northern California’s largest, a notice to Contra Costa County regulators showed. Phillips 66’s 76,000- barrel-a-day Rodeo refinery near San Francisco also shut a unit Jan. 22, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Tesoro extinguished a “small” motor fire on a maintenance boat stationed at the wastewater treatment plant at its 170,000- barrel-a-day Golden Eagle refinery in Northern California, Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at Tesoro’s headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail. The fire had no impact on refinery operations, she said.

San Francisco Carbob widened its discount to Los Angeles by 9.5 cents to 24 cents a gallon, the biggest gap since Jan. 14.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles advanced 1.75 cents to a 6.75-cent premium to Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco gained 1.25 cents to a premium of 3.75 cents a gallon against futures.

In Portland, low-sulfur diesel narrowed its discount 2.5 cents to 4 cents a gallon against heating oil futures. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline there strengthened 10 cents to 13 cents a gallon below the Nymex gasoline contract.

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

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

The Good Business Issue

Companies Mentioned

  • VLO
    (Valero Energy Corp)
    • $50.29 USD
    • 0.50
    • 0.99%
  • CVX
    (Chevron Corp)
    • $113.25 USD
    • -0.22
    • -0.19%
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