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U.S. Northwest Gasoline Strengthens on Work at BP Oil Refinery

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline in the U.S. Northwest rose to the highest level in nine days after BP Plc reported electrical maintenance on two gas compressors and flaring from a third unit at the Cherry Point refinery in Washington state.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, strengthened 2.25 cents to 15 cents below gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:10 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the narrowest discount since Feb. 1.

London-based BP shut two gas compressors at the 234,000-barrel-a-day Cherry Point refinery for electrical work that was scheduled to last until today, according to a notice with state regulators. The No. 2 reformer debutanizer tower flared for 10 to 12 hours Feb. 8 during testing, another filing shows.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles strengthened 1.62 cents to a premium of 21 cents versus gasoline futures, the highest level since Dec. 30. The same fuel in San Francisco rose 3 cents to a premium of 12 cents against futures as San Antonio-based Tesoro Corp. performed maintenance at the Martinez oil refinery in Northern California.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips reported a leak at the 128,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo oil refinery in Northern California yesterday that forced a plant shut, according to a notice to county regulators.

“The situation has been completely resolved,” the company said in the filing.

Diesel Spreads

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles was unchanged at a premium of 1 cent to Nymex heating oil futures. San Francisco CARB diesel fell 1 cent to a discount of 0.5 cent to futures.

California-blend gasoline production reached the highest level for this time of year in six years, according to the state Energy Commission. Output of the fuel rose 13 percent to 6.3 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 3, the state said.

Carbob inventories jumped 9 percent to 6.41 million barrels last week, according to the state.

“The biggest build was down south,” Rob Schlichting, a spokesman for the energy commission in Sacramento, said in an e-mail. “It could be preparation for more turnarounds, or just preparation for the shift to summer fuel.”

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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