San Francisco Gasoline Gains After Valero, Chevron Report Upsets

Spot gasoline in San Francisco climbed against futures for the first time in four days after Valero Energy Corp. (VLO)’s Benicia refinery shut a hydrocracker and Chevron Corp. (CVX)’s Richmond plant reported an electrical upset.

The hydrocracker at Valero’s 170,000-barrel-a-day Benicia refinery was offline after a hydrogen plant upset over the weekend, Bill Day, a Valero spokesman in San Antonio, said by e- mail. Chevron’s 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond refinery, the largest in Northern California, reported an electrical unit upset yesterday, a notice to county regulators shows.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco gained 1.5 cents to a discount of 17 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:12 p.m. East Coast time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Prompt delivery of the fuel advanced 1.28 cents to $2.9802 a gallon.

A “major electrical unit” tripped offline at the Richmond refinery, San Ramon, California-based Chevron said in a notice to Contra Costa County regulators yesterday. The equipment was restarted, the filing said.

Carbob in Los Angeles dropped 3.25 cents versus gasoline futures to a discount of 16 cents a gallon, the fuel’s lowest level since Dec. 18.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance refinery is operating normally after an equipment upset in a unit earlier today, Gesuina Paras, a company spokeswoman in Torrance, said by e-mail. The incident didn’t affect production and the company is meeting commitments, she said.

Spread Narrows

The spread between Carbob in San Francisco and Los Angeles narrowed 4.75 cents to 1 cent a gallon, the smallest gap in five months. San Francisco reached a record discount of 32.5 cents a gallon against Los Angeles on Jan. 14.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles tumbled 5 cents against Nymex heating oil futures to a premium of 5.5 cents a gallon, the lowest level since Jan. 23. The same fuel in San Francisco weakened 4 cents to a premium of 8 cents a gallon against Nymex heating oil futures, a six-week low.

Chevron expects to restart the only crude unit at the Richmond refinery by the end of the month, Sean Comey, a company spokesman based in San Ramon, said by e-mail today. The unit has been shut since an Aug. 6 fire, halting diesel production at the plant.

In Portland, Oregon, low-sulfur diesel gained 1.5 cents to premium of 17.5 cents a gallon versus futures, the highest level since November. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline in Portland dropped 4.5 cents against gasoline futures to a discount of 12 cents a gallon, the lowest level since Jan. 25.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed a second day, losing $2.441 to $16.333 a barrel at 4:16 p.m. New York time. The spread, a measure of refining profitability, reached a year-low of $3.86 a barrel in December.

-- Editors: Charlotte Porter, 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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