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San Francisco Diesel Strengthens on Flaring at Chevron Richmond

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March 1 (Bloomberg) -- California-blend diesel in San Francisco strengthened for the second day to the highest level against futures in almost four months after Chevron Corp. flared gases at the Richmond refinery in Northern California.

California-blend, low-sulfur diesel, known as CARB diesel, in San Francisco rose for a second day, by 3.5 cents to a premium of 16.5 cents versus heating oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the largest premium for the fuel in San Francisco since Nov. 4.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, flared gases at the 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond refinery yesterday, according to a notice filed with Contra Costa County regulators.

“We reported a Level 1 incident yesterday morning,” Melissa Ritchie, a Chevron spokeswoman at the refinery, said in an e-mail today. “Beyond that we do not comment on day-to-day operations.”

The Richmond plant, the largest oil refinery in Northern California, also flared gases Feb. 27 “due to low feed rates and unstability of the plant,” according to a state regulatory notice. Sean Comey, a Chevron spokesman in San Ramon, declined to comment on the filing and said the refinery “continues to supply products to our customers without interruption.”

CARB diesel in Los Angeles gained 1.5 cents to a 15.5-cent premium.

Distillate Supplies

Distillate stocks in California dropped 7.6 percent to 3.77 million barrels last week, the lowest level in eight weeks, the state Energy Commission said yesterday. London-based BP Plc started a hydrocracker at the 266,000-barrel-a-day Carson refinery in Southern California earlier this week following unplanned repairs, a person familiar with the work said Feb. 27.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles fell for the fourth straight day, slipping 6.75 cents to a premium of 14.75 cents against Nymex gasoline futures, the lowest level in three weeks. San Francisco Carbob fell 6.75 cents to 11.75 cents above futures.

California gasoline supplies rose for the first time in three weeks, by 441,000 barrels to 7 million in the week ended Feb. 24, the state Energy Commission said yesterday.

Jet fuel in Los Angeles strengthened for the second day, by 0.5 cent to a premium of 12 cents. Inventories of the aviation fuel fell dropped 7.9 percent to 3.5 million barrels last week, an 11-week low, state data showed.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, weakened for the fourth day, by 3 cents to a discount of 9.5 cents a gallon.

Tesoro Corp., based in San Antonio, brought the catalytic cracking and alkylation units at the 125,000-barrel-a-day Anacortes refinery in Washington state back to service following repairs, two people familiar with the work said Feb. 28.

“Process units (unspecified) at Tesoro’s Anacortes refinery have been restarted and operations are at planned rates,” Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said in an e-mail today.

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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