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California-Blend Gasoline Jumps on Chevron, BP Refinery Work

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- California-blend gasoline in Los Angeles and San Francisco strengthened for the first time in six days on speculation that repairs at Chevron Corp. and BP Plc refineries may tighten supply.

Chevron flared sulfur dioxide at the Richmond oil refinery last week after a hydrogen plant went down and a flare-gas compressor malfunctioned, according to notices filed with Contra Costa county regulators. BP plans to shut a coker, a crude unit and an alkylation unit at the Carson plant for a maintenance turnaround this month, two people familiar with the work said Jan. 3.

Carbob in Los Angeles rose 10.75 cents to a premium of 24.5 cents a gallon against gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:03 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fuel previously fell for six days as Valero Energy Corp.’s Wilmington plant started units following work and BP’s Carson refinery recovered from an upset.

San Francisco Carbob gained 10.25 cents to a premium of 21.5 cents against futures.

ConocoPhillips plans to close the Santa Maria refinery in California this month for a four-week maintenance turnaround, according to a notice to San Luis Obispo County regulators.

Conoco Maintenance

Conoco is scheduled to shut the 44,000-barrel-a-day plant west of Bakersfield, California, for “specialized inspections and maintenance work,” the Houston-based company said in a March 1 notice to the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District and the local community. It was unclear when the plant would be taken out of service.

The Santa Maria plant processes mainly heavy, high-sulfur crude oil into semi-refined products that are then delivered across a 200-mile (320-kilometer) pipeline to Conoco’s 128,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo refinery in Northern California.

“I can confirm there is planned maintenance underway at our San Francisco refinery,” Rich Johnson, a Conoco spokesman in Houston, said in an e-mail March 2. “Details regarding the specific units involved and the duration of the work are considered proprietary.”

California-blend diesel, or CARB diesel, in Los Angeles gained 3 cents to a 20.25-cent premium against Nymex heating oil futures, the highest level since Nov. 7. The same fuel in San Francisco rose 2.25 cents to a premium of 19.5 cents.

Jet fuel in Los Angeles strengthened for the fourth day, gaining 1 cent to a premium of 15 cents against Nymex heating oil futures, the highest level since May 23. Inventories of the aviation fuel fell dropped 7.9 percent to 3.5 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 24, an 11-week low, according to the state Energy Commission.

Portland Gasoline

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, strengthened 7.44 cents to a discount of 5.56 cents a gallon against gasoline futures.

Conoco will shut the 107,500-barrel-a-day Ferndale refinery in Washington state for a turnaround beginning March 15, two people familiar with the work said March 2. The company was initially scheduled to begin work at the beginning of the month and delayed it following a fire at BP Plc’s Cherry Point plant nearby, they said.

The turnaround is expected to last 37 days, one person said.

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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