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Los Angeles Gasoline Tumbles After Valero Starts Refinery Units

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Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles tumbled by the most in three months after Valero Energy Corp. started a crude unit and a coker at the Wilmington refinery in Southern California following maintenance.

Carbob in Los Angeles fell for the first time in four days, by 6 cents to a premium of 30 cents a gallon against gasoline 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 drop for the fuel since Nov. 15.

Valero’s 135,000-barrel-a-day Wilmington refinery has started the crude and coker units following a maintenance turnaround that began last month and is increasing rates, said Bill Day, a Valero spokesman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio.

“Other units at the refinery have not begun restarting yet,” Day said in an e-mail.

The premium for Carbob in San Francisco also fell 6 cents to 24 cents a gallon above gasoline futures, the lowest level for the fuel in four days.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, slipped 1.5 cents to a premium of 6.5 cents versus gasoline futures. The fuel jumped 12.5 cents yesterday to the highest level against futures since Jan. 5.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in San Francisco strengthened 0.63 cent to a premium of 3.13 cents against Nymex heating oil futures.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips may cut diesel output at the 128,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo refinery in Northern California for two and a half weeks while working on a hydrogen plant, according to Contra Costa County regulators.

Los Angeles Carbob was unchanged at a premium of 4.5 cents to Nymex heating oil futures.

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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