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California-Blend Gasoline Gains on Strike Threat, Refinery Work

California-blend gasoline strengthened against futures after workers at Tesoro Corp. voted to authorize a strike and ConocoPhillips reported planned flaring at the Los Angeles oil refinery.

The majority of employees at the 97,000-barrel-a-day Tesoro Wilmington refinery in Southern California approved giving their bargaining committee the authority to call a strike, the United Steelworkers said late yesterday. The union local began talks with Tesoro earlier this month on a contract to replace one that runs out at the end of April.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles rose 1.5 cents to a premium of 3 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:27 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Conoco will flare gases at the 139,000-barrel-a-day Los Angeles refinery tomorrow, according to a regulatory notice.

The 128,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo plant, north of San Francisco, started work early on a sulfur unit that was shut last week after a fire, a person familiar with operations said.

San Francisco Carbob climbed 4 cents to a premium of 7 cents a gallon against gasoline futures.

Gasoline inventories on the West Coast, known as the Padd 5 region, dropped 1.2 million barrels, or 3.9 percent, to 29.7 million barrels in the week to April 13, the Energy Department said yesterday. That’s the lowest level since Dec. 30.

Distillate Stockpiles

Distillate fuel oil inventories on the West Coast tumbled to the lowest level since November, falling by 803,000 barrels, or 6.2 percent, to 12.2 million, the department said.

CARB diesel in Los Angeles slipped 0.25 cent to a premium of 7 cents a gallon versus Nymex heating oil futures. The same fuel in San Francisco increased 0.75 cent to a 11.25-cent premium.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon strengthened 2 cents to a 5.5-cent premium against gasoline futures. Low-sulfur diesel there fell 3 cents to a premium of 21.5 cents a gallon versus heating oil futures.

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