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Los Angeles Diesel Premium Rises to Three-Year High on Work

California-blend diesel in Los Angeles strengthened to the highest level in at least three years as three Southern California refineries were said to be working on units and a fourth was said to be cutting rates in January.

The premium for CARB diesel in Los Angeles rose 2.5 cents to 31 cents a gallon above heating oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:16 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the largest premium for the fuel since Bloomberg began compiling prices for it on Nov. 27, 2007.

San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. said the 135,000-barrel-day-day Wilmington refinery will start crude and coker work in January that’s expected to last for four weeks. The refinery will shut a fluid catalytic cracker, alkylation unit and hydrotreater for work from Jan. 13 through early February, a person with direct knowledge of the work said yesterday.

BP Plc, Tesoro Corp. and Chevron Corp. were also said to be conducting work at their Southern California refineries. Chevron’s 279,000-barrel-a-day El Segundo plant, California’s largest by capacity, was to shut the fluid catalytic cracking unit over the weekend for repairs that may last three to four weeks, a person with direct knowledge of the work said Oct. 26.

The premium for Los Angeles diesel has almost tripled from 10.75 cents on Oct. 25.

California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles rose 2.75 cents to 35 cents a gallon over gasoline futures traded on the Nymex, the fuel’s highest premium since Oct. 17.

Carbob in San Francisco fell 0.75 cent to 30 cents a gallon, the first drop for the fuel in six days. Tesoro was expected to restore full production at the 170,000-barrel-a-day Martinez refinery by late yesterday after a power failure last week.

The premium for conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, rose 6.37 cents to 20.5 cents above futures.

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